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Womens Skill Development Organisation

An update from Women's Skill Development Organisation after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April:

Thursday 30 April 2015

We are so happy that from the foreign nations also people are showing concern and helping Nepal to make relief and support.The things and activities that Oxfam is doing are very much appreciating one and thankful. 

Yes here in Nepal the condition is not good. We have also lighted candles to pray for peace of soul in heaven. Many of them are injured and suffering with pain. They don't have money, food, clothes and anything. All things are destroyed. Mainly from the village areas like Gorkha, Barpak and Lamjung; they don't have houses, food, clothes. Many of the injured people are brought in the Government Hospital Gandaki in Pokhara. They are staying outside in the ground due to lack of space in Hospitals and also are in the fear of afterattack. So we are trying to help them by providing medicines, drinking waters, food, tents, as possible transportation facilities also. As these becomes the initial needs for them. Therefore, we have started to raise fund within our organizations members, producers and with all of our partners.

Monday 27 April 2015
Thank you very much for your mail. We are very comfort by your caring kind words. In Pokhara we are all fine and safe but in Kathmandu and other areas, the condition is not good. We are also trying to reach other Fair Trade Group members in Kathmandu but is not able to contact. We are praying God it will never happen again and trying to help other people who have survived.

The Women’s Skill Development Project was established in Pokhara, Nepal, on the occasion of the International Women's Year declared by the United Nations in 1975, as a training center for women from rural villages. It functions as a non-profit, non-government supported institution whose primary objective is to enhance the independence of poor, misfortunate Nepalese women by providing them with handicraft-related skills training. It started its commercial production in 1989 as the Women’s Skill Development Organisation, and is today a self-funding, income-generating program, offering training to hundreds of women in cutting, sewing, weaving and other handicraft skills. The program is aimed toward assisting rural and low-income women, especially those who face obstacles like divorce, illiteracy, handicap, domestic abuse or exile from their homes. Through their fair wage and benefit system, WSDO employs these women and helps them to become self-sufficient, as well as providing them with a safe, secure and caring workplace to learn and develop their skills to become productive members of society.

WSDO now has 220 members plus two more sub groups in Ritthepani and Banjhapatan.
They provide their members with skills training, new manufacturing equipment, bonuses, scholarships and assistance to members who become injured or sick. They also have a cooperative savings and credit program where the women can save money for the future and take out loans with nominal interest. WSDO also provides its workers with a clothing allowance, 60 days paid maternity leave, emergency allowance, free health checkups, education on social issues and the environment, English language training, education excursions and educational scholarships to the women’s daughters.
Sarita Adhikary

“It’s now 11 years that Sarita Adhikary has been working with Women Skill Development Organization. She still vividly remembers meeting with Mrs Ramkali Khadka the Executive Director of WSDO. She was nervous, almost trembling. Ramkali asked if she knew how to sew, and she said ‘yes’. She had picked up on this skill working with the garment factory. Ramkali then asked Sarita to sew a bag from the cut piece of cloth, which Sarita did. Ramkali and the other lady there were assessing her skill, to find ways to help her rather than to test her. With the bag sewn up, Ramkali saw that with little training Sarita could do good quality work.

Sarita’s marriage was an inter-caste marriage. Her in-laws never accepted her into their house. She had to live separately with her husband in a rented place, like an outcaste. Later, separating herself from an abusive husband she had had even more turbulent life, until she got involved with WSDO.

‘I could sense this on the very first day that if I get to work with WSDO, my life would change’ says Sarita. Earlier at the garment factory she used to earn 50 paisa (half a Rupee) for sewing a pair of shorts. At WSDO stitching one money bag fetched her 5 Rupees. It used to take half hour to stitch a pair of shorts whereas money bags could be sewn in 10 minutes. Once Sarita began earning an income with WSDO, she promptly enrolled her children into school. She earned enough to feed all of them. She picked up the cut pieces at WSDO and stitched up the bags at her own convenience. She soon also realized that she could do household chores and manage enough time to stitch as many bags as she wanted.
Source http://womensskillsdevelopment.org/

Womens Skill Development Organisation

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