Fair Trade Producers in Nepal

Children Nepal

Children Nepal is a non-profit NGO working to promote the rights, welfare and development of children living in the margins of society.

Children Nepal staff work directly with children and their families, helping them to break away from effects of discrimination based on caste, disability, gender and social status. hilkdren Nepal works with families to address the problems of their daily lives and direct them to access local service providers and relevant social education.

By empowering families and involving them with community support networks Children Nepal believe they will achieve genuine and lasting social change at the grass roots level for generations of children.

Specific programs are: Child Self Help Groups, Bridging Education to prepare uneducated children for entry to the education system and an Income Generation program which employs disadvantaged women. Children Nepal are particularly concerned about the level of child trafficking that takes place in Nepal and are playing an active role in working to stop child trafficking.

Children Nepal are based in Pokhara, in central Nepal in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Children Nepal are a member of the Fair Trade Group Nepal and the WFTO - The World Fair Trade Organisation.

Kumbeshwar Technical School

KTS Mission: Equal Opportunities for all

Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS) was founded in 1983 to provide adult and child literacy classes to the low cast street sweeper community of the Kumbeshwar neighbourhood. Since then it has grown to provide a school of nursery and primary education, a child care centre and an orphanage.

Training and subsequent income generation in hand-knitting, carpet weaving and furniture making provide economic opportunities for the previously unskilled local people. The Director, Mr Kiran Khadgi is the son of the original founder, Mr Siddhi Bahadur Khadgi with part of their ancestral home being given over in past years to the project. KTS directly benefit over 1000 producers who are mostly women. A child care centre is provided for women working in the carpet weaving workshop or visiting the organization for training. Free education is provided to 250 school children and over 20 children live in the orphanage and receive both education and care.

KTS Management is active in working to advocate for women's health issues with support from like-minded social organisations in Nepal. They have helped to develop programs - involving health professionals and specialists - holding health education clinics advising on menopause and gynaecological issues.

Local children from low-come families learn vital literacy skills and receive a broad education in the KTS nursey and primary school. For those who have finished their formal education, vocational training is offered in carpet weaving handknitting, and carpentry skills providing access to a wide range of employment opportunities.

KTS believes in the empowerment of its local community and the wider population, to take responsibility for themselves and their future. They assist widely in the creation of income-generating programs that directly benefit low income groups, in particular women, and the physically challenged. Orphans and destitute women are offered a home, education and training.

KTS - through their relationships with the Menopause Society of Nepal and Nepal Eye Hospital - arrange a health clinic day of education on menopause awareness for women in villages unable to normally access such information, for eye check-ups, treatment and cataract surgery. Women were able to ask many health related questions, and also have support financially for any health treatments such as eye surgery.

Here is a story of one such person who began at KTS in their orphanage:

Umesh - a young boy - was brought to the attention of the school's Director in 1999 when the social welfare council was having difficulty finding a suitable home for him. The KTS Orphanage was deemed to be best place for him. He was initially found weeping in the front door of the police station at Durbar marg, Kathmandu, and was unable to give any information about his situation as it was discovered he was deaf and unable to speak.

At KTS he was given a detailed medical check-up and cared for at the KTS Orphanage, and continued to grow and was soon admitted into Grade 1 at the Deaf School with full sponsorship from KTS. He studied up to grade 7.

At this time, he showed interest in working at a printing company. He began work in this area, but found it was not suitable and he arrived back at KTS. KTS advised him to work with them until he was able to find a suitable position that he was interested in. He discovered that he enjoyed the packing job at KTS and continued in this position as Packing assistant. In 2006, he was able to leave the care of the Orphanage and live independently continuing his work as packing assistant. The end to this story is that he met a lovely girl - also deaf - and they married in 2015. KTS helped organize the wedding ceremony and offered help financially.

Umesh and his wife are both working at KTS. He as packing assistant and his wife started to work in the knitwear production unit where she has developed great crocheting skills and started to work as intern. Umesh is a very hard working dedicated permanent staff.

KTS are founder members of the Fair Trade Group Nepal and members of WFTO - The World Fair Trade Organisation. KTS strongly believes in Fair trade practices and is committed to working with its producers to create high quality fair trade products.

Women's Skill Development Organisation

WSDO is a non-profit organization providing handicraft related skills training to poor and disadvantaged Neplaese women, so that they may become self supportive. Established in 1975 WSDP has been able to provide hundreds of women with vocational skills and has built itself up to be fully self-sufficient.

WSDO make a range of handicraft items from hand loomed cotton that they dye and weave on site. All the finished goods are also designed and produced on site providing a full range of training in textile production. The women come from a wide variety of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. Many of them have been widowed, divorced, handicapped, abused and forced to leave their homes and villages. WSDP also provide performance bonuses, scholarships and aid to members who are injured or become sick.

WSDO have recently started making products using natural vegetable dyes to embrace a process which is more environmentally friendly. They are a member of the Fair Trade Group Nepal and are a member of WFTO - The World Fair Trade Organisation.

The Association for Craft Producers

ACP is a non-profit professional group established in 1984 that provides design, market, management and technical services for low income, primarily female, craft producers. The regular wage and allowances that ACP can pay their producers improves the overall standard of living. ACP currently benefits 1200 producers and runs an impressive range of producer welfare programs and initiatives including:

  • A Savings program, retirement fund and a medical allowance
  • Festival allowances to cover increased household expenses during these times
  • Education allowances to cover children’s education and discourage child labour
  • A workshop cafeteria providing a meal and safe hygienic drinking water each day, to those workers based at or visiting the ACP premises
  • Paid maternity leave.

ACP have recently completed a major upgrade of their premises to allow increased technical and quality support to their producers. In these refurbishments they have included a number of proactive environmental systems such as rainwater catchment and an operational waste water system.

ACP are founding members of the Fair Trade Group Nepal and are a member of the WFTO - The World Fair Trade Organistion.

Sana Hastakala

Sana Hastakala is a non-profit organization established in 1989 with the financial and technical support of UNICEF to meet the marketing requirements of handicraft producers who are mainly women and operating on a very small scale, usually from their homes.

Sana Hastakala strives to revive and preserve traditional handicraft techniques as well as develop new skills and ideas. They provide assistance with project development, training and sales. Financial assistance is provided to producers for the purchase of equipment, raw materials, product development and health programs. Sana Hastakala provide services to more than 80 producer groups and around 1000 individual crafts-people.

Sana Hastakala are a founding member of the Fair Trade Group Nepal and are a member of WFTO - The World Fair Trade Organisation.

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