About my time at CYF: Being a part of a big family

About my time at CYF: Being a part of a big family

If someone would have told me half a year ago that I would teach Yoga in a school in Nepal, I would have thought this person is crazy. But that’s exactly what I did and I’m still so thankful for this opportunity. During my time I did not only teach Yoga, but also helped in the garden, went to the library and hiking with the children and helped painting in a workshop, where some mothers of the kids work and make beautiful things like wallets and bags with typical Nepali patterns.

A Quick Guide to Haushala Creatives’ Past and Future

By Melainy Williams

Head stitcher Kamala Tamang sewing a Riya Tote in the Haushala Creatives workspace.

Head stitcher Kamala Tamang sewing a Riya Tote in the Haushala Creatives workspace.

Haushala. n. the nepali word for encouragement

Encouragement. n. the action of giving someone support, confidence or hope

Haushala Creatives, under the umbrella of parent organization Children and Youth First, focuses on making economic and social changes for women in Nepal. In 2013, while running CYF’s boarding school Life Vision Academy, young Haushala Thapa recognized the lack of economic independence among many of the school children’s mothers.

She decided to take action. On her own rooftop, she started a women’s cooperative and workshop which provided a safe space for women to gather and exchange ideas and knowledge. It quickly transformed into a larger cooperative of artisan women, where anyone could come receive free training in knitting and sewing. The women who are a part of Haushala Creatives work towards gaining economic independence by creating handmade products and earning profits from their sale. Haushala Creatives not only provides training but also provides an outlet for the sale of the merchandise. Some of the trainees choose to take their new skills home and open their own businesses. All the women involved benefit from increased economic and social independence.

 The good doesn’t stop there. While half of the profits of the sale of handcrafted merchandise goes directly back to the women of Haushala Cooperatives, the other half, as agreed upon by our artisans, benefits the local boarding school, Life Vision Academy (LVA). Supporting our products benefits both our hardworking artisans as well as the children attending LVA.

…but many more women can benefit from our program. Our main hub is located in the urban periphery of Kathmandu, Nepal, and women marginalized in rural areas cannot access these opportunities. In villages, poverty leads to lower education rates and higher marriage rates. Increased dependency resulting from the aforementioned trends leaves women with limited-decision making power. Further, high travel costs to travel into cities limits work opportunities and increases economic reliance on men. We want to interrupt this pattern by introducing more Haushala Creatives hubs in rural areas, extending our model to encourage all women across Nepal’s districts. 

We want to sustain a model which continues to change women’s’ lives. We have developed a plan to keep our programs going. Any money earned from running the programs will be reinvested into the organization to pay for operating costs. We will continue to operate our training programs. Women graduating from the program will be given the opportunity to work for Haushala Creatives and earn their own income. Those who have taken part in our program will be inspired and inspire others, just like Haushala Thapa back in 2013. 

Want to help us develop our new hubs to employ more women? Consider donating to Haushala Creatives, or shop for the artisans’ merchandise at haushala.com.

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The Tempest at Life Vision Academy: Florence's Reflection on Three Weeks in Nepal

The Tempest at Life Vision Academy: Florence's Reflection on Three Weeks in Nepal

I was lucky enough to spend three weeks at Life Vision Academy this year, working on a production of The Tempest with some of the children from the school. I was welcomed enormously by everyone at the school, the children and the staff and immediately felt at home there.

The main focus of my work was collaborating with a group around 25 children and introducing them to The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Myself and Hazel, my directing partner, told the children the story and then through drama games and improvisation techniques, the children got to know the play and we managed to cast the show within a few days.

Report on The Tempest Drama Project: February/March 2019: Hazel Roy

Report on The Tempest Drama Project: February/March 2019:  Hazel Roy

This was my sixth return to Nepal – but my first visit to the new school in Godavari. I visited the school at its old site in 2014, and had photos from that visit. Some of the children were now young adults, working at the school in different capacities. Early on we felt part of an extended family.

Florence and I had preliminary plans to recreate a children’s version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in 3 weeks - a tall order. Our little team of 25 children threw themselves into the drama session with great enthusiasm, enjoying the warm ups the singing exercises and the drama games…

Haushala Creatives' Holiday Gift Guide

Haushala Creatives is here for the holidays! Browse through our gift guide to find the perfect present for your family, friends, and coworkers — and for your own wish-list!

Every item is handmade in Nepal by female artisans who are building social and financial independence by knitting and sewing together. We are nonprofit; half of all profits return to the artisans, and the artisans choose to donate the other half to sustainably support children’s education at Life Vision Academy.

Every item is ethically-made and sustainably-made for a better today and better tomorrow. Our wools, threads, Dhaka and patterned fabrics are all locally sourced. Many of our zippers are donated. Our bags’ interior linings are made from recycled materials to reduce our environmental footprint. Our artisans set their own prices.

When you shop at Haushala Creatives, you are directly investing in a mother who is earning her own income for the first time. You are supporting a safe haven for women to build strength together. You are funding the school tuition of a girl who came to us homeless and malnourished. You are amplifying voices who are fighting for gender equality, for trans inclusion, for human rights; voices who are fighting against sexual assault, against exploitation, against dangerous stigmas. You are choosing handmade and sustainable products that seek to reduce the fashion industry’s environmental footprint. In shorter words: you are choosing social change, and for that, we thank you. Happy holidays!


Something for Everyone on your List

Multi-Purpose Case , $20-30 Use it as a handheld clutch, tablet sleeve, file holder, craft supplies catch-all, and more! The large case fits an iPad and the small fits an iPad Mini. Envelope closure with wooden button and rope tie. The large case is available online in five patterns of Nepali Dhaka, and the small case in two.

Multi-Purpose Case, $20-30
Use it as a handheld clutch, tablet sleeve, file holder, craft supplies catch-all, and more! The large case fits an iPad and the small fits an iPad Mini. Envelope closure with wooden button and rope tie. The large case is available online in five patterns of Nepali Dhaka, and the small case in two.

The Triangle Tote , $15  Our signature canvas triangle bag could be your new go-to tote! Durable canvas on the outside, nylon on the inside: perfect for groceries or beach trips. Choose your favorite Dhaka pattern to show through the triangle cutout.

The Triangle Tote, $15

Our signature canvas triangle bag could be your new go-to tote! Durable canvas on the outside, nylon on the inside: perfect for groceries or beach trips. Choose your favorite Dhaka pattern to show through the triangle cutout.

The Maya Infinity Scarf,  $35  (On sale for $25!)  Maya means Love. Our artisans make each knit scarf with love in each stitch, and we know you'll love wearing it! This classic layering piece can be draped around the neck in several ways. Made with locally-sourced wool, 9" wide. Available online in about 30 variations.

The Maya Infinity Scarf, $35 (On sale for $25!)
Maya means Love. Our artisans make each knit scarf with love in each stitch, and we know you'll love wearing it! This classic layering piece can be draped around the neck in several ways. Made with locally-sourced wool, 9" wide. Available online in about 30 variations.

The Deepa Rainbow Tote,  $15  A great way to add color to an outfit, or show your pride! Just like our triangle tote, it’s made of durable canvas on the outside with quick-dry nylon on the inside. One half features multicolored stripes: choose them either up the side or across the bottom.

The Deepa Rainbow Tote, $15

A great way to add color to an outfit, or show your pride! Just like our triangle tote, it’s made of durable canvas on the outside with quick-dry nylon on the inside. One half features multicolored stripes: choose them either up the side or across the bottom.

For the university student

Dhaka Laptop Case , $45  (On sale for $35!)  Our patterned laptop sleeves are hand sewn in an array of Nepali Dhaka prints. The laptop case measures approx. Fits standard laptops up to 17" screen. Envelope closure with wooden button and rope tie. Available online in 5 patterns.

Dhaka Laptop Case, $45 (On sale for $35!)
Our patterned laptop sleeves are hand sewn in an array of Nepali Dhaka prints. The laptop case measures approx. Fits standard laptops up to 17" screen. Envelope closure with wooden button and rope tie. Available online in 5 patterns.

Dhaka Drawstring Backpack , $25 Our drawstring travel backpack is ready to follow you anywhere: from class to the gym, from the beach to the mountains. Available online in our classic black-and-white Himalaya pattern and our new indigo-striped Jomsom print.

Dhaka Drawstring Backpack, $25
Our drawstring travel backpack is ready to follow you anywhere: from class to the gym, from the beach to the mountains. Available online in our classic black-and-white Himalaya pattern and our new indigo-striped Jomsom print.

For the frequent flyer

Weekender Travel Bag , $65 ( On sale for $55! ) Carry-on luggage has never looked better. Our travel bag holds everything you need, no matter where you're going. Zip closure, cloth interior pocket, vegan leather bottom. Sturdy and self-standing. Available online in 5 patterns.

Weekender Travel Bag, $65 (On sale for $55!)
Carry-on luggage has never looked better. Our travel bag holds everything you need, no matter where you're going. Zip closure, cloth interior pocket, vegan leather bottom. Sturdy and self-standing. Available online in 5 patterns.

Passport Wallet,  $12 Bon voyage! Keep your passport safe and stylish in this fitted sleeve, or use this as a standard wallet for cash and cards. Two interior pockets hold your passport secure. Fits most passport sizes, including UK and US. Available online in two patterns.

Passport Wallet, $12
Bon voyage! Keep your passport safe and stylish in this fitted sleeve, or use this as a standard wallet for cash and cards. Two interior pockets hold your passport secure. Fits most passport sizes, including UK and US. Available online in two patterns.

For the fearless feminist

Haushala Mascot Tote,  $15 "Empower. Elevate. Encourage."   Our mascot tote is a must-have for anyone who aligns with our Haushala Creatives mission. We love our Supergirl Mascot and we believe superheroes can be any gender! Each purchase funds our artisan cooperative, our women's coworking space, and girls' education.

Haushala Mascot Tote, $15
"Empower. Elevate. Encourage." Our mascot tote is a must-have for anyone who aligns with our Haushala Creatives mission. We love our Supergirl Mascot and we believe superheroes can be any gender! Each purchase funds our artisan cooperative, our women's coworking space, and girls' education.

Donate a sewing machine or free training!  Make a donation in honor of a loved one. By donating to Haushala Creatives, you will help fund a new cooperative hub in a rural village, bringing sewing machines and free vocational trainings to more women in the Kathmandu Valley. We'll send you a greeting card you can give to your honoree, conveying your gift's impact.  Click here  to give any amount.

Donate a sewing machine or free training!
Make a donation in honor of a loved one. By donating to Haushala Creatives, you will help fund a new cooperative hub in a rural village, bringing sewing machines and free vocational trainings to more women in the Kathmandu Valley. We'll send you a greeting card you can give to your honoree, conveying your gift's impact. Click here to give any amount.

For Snow Lovers, Hat Wearers, and the Perpetually Cold

River Beanie, $15  This soft, ribbed hat has a slouchier fit than the Pepper Beanie. Perfect for all-year wear. Available online in 8 colors.

River Beanie, $15
This soft, ribbed hat has a slouchier fit than the Pepper Beanie. Perfect for all-year wear. Available online in 8 colors.

Knit Bow Headband,  $15 Brand new this winter! Stay warm and stylish with our handknit bow headbands. Available online in 4 colors.

Knit Bow Headband, $15
Brand new this winter! Stay warm and stylish with our handknit bow headbands. Available online in 4 colors.

Pepper Beanie,  $15 A new take on the classic beanie. Our soft, stretchy hat with a tighter fit than the River Beanie. Available online in 5 colors.

Pepper Beanie, $15
A new take on the classic beanie. Our soft, stretchy hat with a tighter fit than the River Beanie. Available online in 5 colors.

Knit 3-in-1 , $15 Know someone who's always cold? Cover all the bases: this knit transforms from a foldover headband, to a neck muffler, to a hand-warmer.

Knit 3-in-1, $15
Know someone who's always cold? Cover all the bases: this knit transforms from a foldover headband, to a neck muffler, to a hand-warmer.

And More!

Visit our store to browse more products, patterns, and colors. We are also on Etsy!

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