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.
Like all kids, our kids love to eat, and like all caregivers, we want to make sure they are happily fed with tasty, nutritious food every day. Food is one of our largest regular costs, and we rely on donors like you to make sure we always have food on the table. Can you help us serve a healthy meal to a hungry child?
By Melainy Williams
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.
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.
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 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!