Bardiya group with their tiger designs
Greetings from Bardiya, Nepal. The National Network for the Families of the Disappeared (NEFAD) and the Advocacy Project team launched an appeal requesting your investment in an embroidery cooperative for the families of the disappeared in Bardiya, Nepal. We are pleased to report that the funds raised went into creating the first batch of 25 high quality tiger embroidery squares, and the first set of 10 completed tote bags. Inspired by the renowned Bardiya National Park, famous for it’s safaris and Bengal tigers, the women of the cooperative decided to focus on embroidering tigers for their first project.
With the help of your donations, the group purchased embroidery supplies to complete 25 embroidered tiger squares, which will serve as the base of their product line. The primary costs of production included purchasing supplies such as threads, needles and fabric as well as wages for the artists. Over the summer, they have formally established the embroidery cooperative, elected a business leadership committee, completed a business and marketing plan, and sourced tailors to produce sample tote bags as a marketable product. They hope to market their bags to national park visitors.
In addition to teaching the women a marketable skill, the project brought them together to turn their shared grief into something positive and sustainable. The testimonies of the participants are powerful. Fudiya said “Before we were united, it was very difficult to express our grief. We were alone in our homes. We became much stronger together...I am hopeful about my friends working in this group activity where we can share our sorrows and find economic relief while learning skills.” Working towards a common goal together provides some relief from the weight of grief.
Your generous donations allowed the women to receive a higher wage for their craftsmanship. Together, the cooperative decided to each invest half of their wages into the business themselves, to they each now have not just become wage-earners but investors in the project themselves. Besides enabling entrepreneurship and providing a livelihood, your gift allowed them autonomous decision making power.
The group also is developing leadership skills. They elected a leadership team including a Chairwoman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Marketing leaders. These leadership skills will set them up for success.
Production is a priority as we move into the second phase of the project. The first sample tote bags have been crafted, and the leadership team is evaluating them for quality and design.
Thanks to you, an empowered group of entrepreneurs is launching their startup in Bardiya, Nepal.
Electing the leadership
Alina designs her tiger square
Hard at work