Kathmandu Catch Up
Can’t believe it’s already two weeks since we got back from Kathmandu! With the Dashain festival and now Deepavali coming up, October’s proving to be a difficult, if not impossible month to make much progress on the ground in Nepal, but once November comes around it will be all systems go!
The first project to get underway will be our new Wonderworks Tailoring Course, which five enthusiastic young ladies have signed up for. They’ve committed to attend for two hours a day, six days a week, for three months and start off on the basic course, learning how to use the sewing machine and make simple items, such as a bib. By the end of the three months they should be able to make a kurtha (traditional outfit). The course is a big undertaking as the students will need to juggle work and homework, in addition to attending regularly. Those who show potential will progress to the special course, to learn how to make much more difficult items. All being well they’ll graduate at the end of February with a well recognised certificate in tailoring – and the chance of new career!
Picking our way through monsoon mud we managed to do follow ups on the businesses we’ve set up over the past eighteen months. We also spent considerable time interviewing hopeful applicants for our small business grants and wish we were able to have helped everyone who applied. On this occasion we’ve set up – two spice cart businesses, one underwear cart, one kajar ghar (snack) cart, one kajar ghar shop and two beauty parlours; seven businesses, involving ten ladies.
Two of the ladies, a mother and daughter, needed a bit more help than the others and they have kindly given us permission to tell their personal story which can be found on our website under ‘What We Do’.
We held a WONDERWorks Fun Day at the Change Nepal DIC at Gongabu where, in addition to having a good time, we had the chance to meet lots of new ladies and tell them about our organisation. Anu, who we continue to support, was delighted to introduce the new anatomy model for her health classes and it certainly got a ‘thorough examination‘ on the day.
We also made headway on our new venture, which we hope will raise funds for future projects and offer an income to the ladies we’ve started up in tailoring businesses. It was fun choosing all the lovely cotton fabrics, some of which have already been made into dressing gowns . The first batch will be for sale at the Christmas fairs and Open Days and we’d really appreciate your feedback.
And last – but not least! We now have our own WONDERWorks office in Kathmandu! Life is much easier, now that we have a base to work from, especially for Bimala, our hard working and reliable Project Co-Ordinator – we couldn’t do without her! So, all in all, a very successful seventeen days, only made possible by all your amazing support. Thank you so much everyone!