Changunarayan Women’s Knitting Circle

Changunarayan Women’s Knitting Circle

Introduction/Background

Nepal is the second poorest country outside of Africa, second only to N. Korea. Many people in Nepal live their lives without hardly even seeing a rupee. When a person needs to go to Kathmandu they often say they are ‘going to Nepal.’ Villages up in the high Himalayas continue to experience such things as high infant mortality, starvation and problems associated with frostbite and lack of medical services.

Education is just about impossible because the villages are so small it would be impracticable to create a school for the children in just one small village. That means they may need to walk for hours through the dangerous forest. In Nepal, even endangered animals live openly. Even here in the Kathmandu Valley mountain cats and snakes can be of real concern. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I hear the drama between one of our wild cats and the street dogs. One man in our village was attacked by such a cat and lived to tell the story. He’s fine, but there is some damage to his arm. Just imagine what it’s like to grow up in the high Himalayas.

Life of Women in Nepal

Whether up in the high country or here in the Kathmandu Valley, women carry the load of society and their families. Illiteracy, prolapsed uterus, fibroid cysts, death during childbirth, back and knee issues from climbing the mountains without proper shoes and the list goes on.

Many INGOs, volunteers and government programs are helping to uplift women in Nepal with varying degrees of success, but one thing is for sure-the job isn’t finished. It isn’t about scholarships and sponsorship. It’s about helping the women to stand up economically, be able to support their families and have time to enjoy their lives.

Our goals

Our main goal is to provide training and employment for women in our village and those who can come from rural areas to work with us. This will provide a difference in the women’s lives to the point that they will not have to worry about their day-to-day living expenses.

Our second goal is to provide assistance to people in Nepal’s high country to make a difference through education and infrastructure. For example, our friend of Kay Garnay, Pema from upper Dolpa, is working to bring a greenhouse to his village. So far we’ve only been able to help the Ku Village with warm clothing, books and a small cash gift. You can learn about the challenges to this region in Pema’s post. https://kaygarnayfornepal.blogspot.com/2017/02/dolpa-is-one-of-biggest-and-most.html

Method

We’ve begun a knitting class/workshop in our Star View Guest House where we had a guest room. It is a sunny room with lots of windows. We also have tables and chairs for them, but they like sitting on a mattress on the floor. The women have come each day promptly at 10 am and work until 3:30 or 4 pm. with lunch and a tea/cookies snack.

They are developing various styles and are getting some nice practice pieces. We plan to have each of the women take one design to make it her own specialty. This will allow for more quality and speed.

Learn more about our women’s knitting initiative here.

History

Kay Garnay means what to do in the Nepalese language (ke garne)? We’ve personified this expression by the name and our new logo/mascot as this image illustrates.

I’m a bit of the motherly type, so it’s been hard not to butt in and try to help. I’d scattered money a bit, but I wasn’t able to help much as just a tourist. After the earthquake I founded this little agency and its been creeping along little by little.

We have been mostly self-funded by using our guesthouse, my little pension, donations from guests and my share of the sales from our affiliate website, http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com

Here are a few things we’ve done:

Tree Planting Projects. We’ve been focusing on indigenous trees that have blooming flowers, grow tall and live a long time. This will provide oxygen to combat global warming, food for bees and other insects, provide a home and shade for countless varieties of animals all the while keeping Nepal’s beauty at its best. A tree is such a lovely gift to our planet.

Warm clothing drives. We’ve collected warm clothing and sent them up to the Mt. Everest region and Upper Dolpa. We also sent a monetary gift and cooler clothing for the flood victims in the lower region last year. It was one of the worst disasters

affecting India, Bangladesh and Nepal in many years. The money was used to provide underwear for the children of school who are from an underprivileged caste.

Book drives. We’ve collected books to support several local libraries, including the one downstairs in the guesthouse. We were able to keep the library open and supply it with a few toys and learning games for 3 years. We’ve recently closed it and will only open it during longer holidays and when we see a need. I loved hearing the laughter of the children, but the entire village is their playground. You will seldom see a parent with the children while they are out and about.

Computer science classes. Although their English skills have not been good enough to write a lot content, we understand that becoming familiar with a computer is a valuable skill that isn’t offered at government schools. We’ve helped many of the village youth to learn enough computer skills to find better employment.

Broadband WIFI link for the villagers. Our password is known by all and they are welcome to sit outside, or come into the library, to get internet access. We also provide a free computer and printing when our neighbors have a need.

School and emergency funding. We’ve been sponsoring one boy who is now in 5th grade. His mother is divorced/abandoned by the father who doesn’t provide any support for the boy.

Earthquake shelters. After the earthquakes of 2015 we sponsored volunteers for 5 months with full room and food complementary. Even now, we only charge for food and usually provide a private room. Between all our volunteers we helped to build shelters for around 50 families, including three that were funded by our guests.

We crowdfunded to help rebuild a couple of homes and in the village, the latter being our Dada-home.org project. This project came about because our volunteers started talking among themselves about how much they wanted to help this young family. We collected 3,000 euro for the this project and over $800 for the first home.

Our Request

We have need of $4,000 in order to have the money to pay the women for a couple months, buy the supplies and materials, pay a bit of rent to the Star View Guest House or find a better location.

Pashmina Women’s Project Content

Handwoven scarves made from cashmere, an extraordinary product made from an extraordinary material. Amazing qualities – soft, warm, elegant. We offer a wide selection of several types of pashminas, with dozens of colours. Most of them are in stock, and we deliver within a few business days.

Non US Residents – Select Your Hat & Glove Set Here:



Attention US Donors:

US tax deductible donation to Kay Garnay for Nepal – Select Your Hat & Glove Set Here: 

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BIO’s of Women in Our Changunarayan Women’s Knitting Circle

About our Project

We are asking for donations to help us with our workshop. Because we are making knitted hats and gloves, we can send you a lovely, high quality, 100% wool with microfiber lining in a variety of colors and styles. Please read below and select the hat and gloves you’d like. If there is anything you’d like to have altered please let us know.

The Woolen Hat and Gloves set are 100% wool, imported from New Zealand and hand knitted. Our women hand-knit your hat and glove and then hand-sew the microfiber lining. For a Donation of only $45, we will send you a matching hat and glove set in the color of your choice. Please Note, this price includes Nepal Postal Service shipping. If this causes a problem with tariff or delivery, please let us know.

1) RANJANA:- 26 years of age in not married yet. Ranjana is our project leader. She lives with her Parents and siblings. The family had a very traumatic experience during the earthquake in 2015. The whole house collapsed. They ran outside and crouched with their hands over their ears in fear of the roaring sound.

The family has been extremely traumatized, especially the young children. Since the earthquake they’ve been living in a makeshift hut of bamboo & leaves. Ranjana now gives all that she earns to support the family while they save to rebuild the house.

Donate For Ranjana

Ranjana’s Hat and Glove Set

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2) BHAVANA:- is a young mother 23 years old, married with 2 children. Her husband recently found work as a Gate-man.

Her young family also had their house collapse in the earthquake. The youngest daughter still won’t leave her side, so the child comes to work with her; she doesn’t speak.

Donate for Bhavana

Bhavana’s Hat and Glove set

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3) MAIYA:- 40 years of age. Married with 3 children. Her husband is not working due to health issues. She supports her family with whatever she earns. Her eldest child picks up odd jobs when available, so she is just scraping by. Maiya is an enthusiastic worker who demonstrates gratitude to have a stable income and some training.

Donate for Maiya

Maiya’s Hat and Glove set

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4) ROOPA:- 30 years of age, married with 3 children. Their whole house collapsed during the 2015 earthquake.Now they live in a temporary shed made of zinc and plastic sheets. She struggles to send her children to school and provide for their basic needs.
One of our primary goals is to use the proceeds of our fundraiser to uplift the village starting from these women. Roopa is in for a lovely surprise as our project gets underway. We will keep everyone updated, so please subscribe to our newsletter and blogposts.

Donate for Roopa

Roopa’s Hat and Glove set

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5) MEERA:- 33 years of age with 2 children was also effected by the 2015 earthquakes. Her young children have been severely traumatized by the earthquake. She says they wake up at night screaming – the house is falling. On the outside these women are happy. But inside it is extremely difficult. In a society of over 40% unemployment, how can she compete with her university educated, English-speaking counterparts? How can these women rebuild their lives when they live on subsistence farming?

Donate for Meera

Meera’s Hat and Glove set

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6) MAYA:- 40 years of age is so grateful to have a regular income. She has 3 children and does not get much support from her ex-husband. Maya is a quick learner with agile fingers. Words cannot convey the the difficulties of women in Nepal. From back and joint pain from climbing the hillside in flip-flops to being illiterate, they are some of the most deserving of people. They teach us the true meaning of strength. Lift these women up and see what they create.

Donate for Maya

Maya’s Hat and Glove set

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7) ANJU:- A mother of 2 children, aged 35 years. Her husband works as a security guard in Bhaktapur a town about 30 minutes away by public bus. Anju is one of our most skilled knitters and has a happy attitude. Anju represents our emerging middle-class Nepali. Yet, if a good job for a man pays $150-250 a month and they are expected to put their children in private school for around $50, there really isn’t much room for saving. It isn’t that any of these women will miss a meal any time soon, they are locked into a life between never having enough and trying to survive a current disaster.

Donate for Anju

Anju’s Hat and Glove set

This hat features a fold-up rim and is available in your choice of any 3 colors-of course, microfiber lined, 100% pure wool. Specify small, medium or large and colors.

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8) SITA:- 32 years of age has 2 children. Her husband works as a field laborer in the rice paddies. Such workers usually get some grain plus a small income. It is so difficult to live in abject poverty. Their home completely collapsed in the 2015 earthquake. They are still living in a temporary shelter and saving to rebuild a house. She is a hard worker, keen to improve her skills.

Living in an earthquake shelter is only one rung better than living under a tree. It rains inside, is an oven when it’s hot and a freezer when it’s cold. It’s difficult to keep the conditions as sanitary as possible as to keep everyone from getting sick. The family Kay Garnay for Nepal helped to build a home for earlier this year, their baby had been in and out of the hospital due to living in a shelter.

 

Donate for Sita

Sita’s Hat and Glove set

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9) SUBHADRA:- A mother of 3 almost grown children is happy to have a stable income. A mature forty years of age does her best to improve her skills. Subhadra is always eager to learn new designs. She is saving to improve her house which needs repair from the earthquake. Many families in Nepal live in homes that were damaged during the big earthquakes, but there is such a scary possibility lurking, I feel an eminent sense of danger and trepidation for them.
 

 

Donate for Subhadra

Subhadra’s Hat and Glove set

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Donate Now

Our women’s group is unique in several ways. First, all proceeds other than internet/banking fees stay in Nepal for the women, our villagers in need and our environmental projects. We only need start-up help. These Nepali women are working to support their families. Over 2/3 of the group has either lost their home or sustained substantial damage during the 2015 earthquakes.

This money will allow us to expand the workshop and find a more permanent location. A guesthouse is only possible during our No-Tourist Season. After we fund our workshop and the pashmina workshop we will turn our attention to putting each of these women in their own homes. Kay Garnay for Nepal has been instrumental in building over 50 aluminum shelters after the earthquakes and have helped to build one small home for a family, so far. Learn about the project here: http://dada-home.org/

As an NGO, the goal of Kay Garnay for Nepal is to help the people of Changunarayan, as well as other Nepali while we help Nepal to rebuild in a more ecologically-friendly way.

Donate $45 or more now and get your high quality, truly 100% Wool, Microfiber Lined, Handcrafted, Knitted Hat and Glove set. Includes shipping to most locations.

Shop for your hat: We have several designs to chose from. If you need special colors or sizes, please let us know. Our ladies our eager to please and committed to quality.

Support our Women’s Work Initiative with a gift of $45 today and get your high quality truly 100% Wool, Microfiber Lined, Handcrafted, Knitted Hat and Glove set. Includes shipping to most locations.

[Donate with paypal/credit card] [Use our American Nonprofit Partner

Make a gift directly to our We One, 501c3

Nepal Registered NGO, Donate and

Kay Garnay for Nepal get US tax deductible donation]

Non US Residents – Select Your Hat & Glove Set Here:



Attention US Donors:

US tax deductible donation to Kay Garnay for Nepal – Select Your Hat & Glove Set Here:

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Opportunities in Nepal for Volunteers and Digital Nomads

Of all the places in the world to volunteer, I don’t think you can find a better one than Nepal. Notice these benefits compared to other countries:

1. A tolerant populace.
2. The local people genuinely want to know you. Nepal has recently been added to the ‘World’s friendliest countries.
3. The government, including police, are kind to tourists.
4. Violent crime toward tourists is almost non-existant in most places in Nepal.
5. Nepal is one of the least expensive countries to travel to.
6. There is a genuine need just about anywhere you look for help. You should not pay a private company  (or NGO) for a volunteer placement in Nepal. However, you should be prepared to pay from $5-10 per day for food.
7. The weather in the Kathmandu Valley, outside Kathmandu City, is mild and with fresh air. Chitwan makes an excellent volunteer experience in the winter time, otherwise, you’ll need to worry about things like it being too hot and malaria.

Posted in kaygarnayfornepal.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 6, 2018

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Babies Are Still Being Born in Nepal in These Harsh Times

Many people were left homeless and alone after the devastating earthquake April 2015. When I look out from the window of the bus we can see many temporary camps with tarps and aluminum shelters along the side of road. This week we went to a camp in Bhouda to distribute some clothes for new born babies. Imagine being born in Nepal during this time, or being suddenly a single mother due to entire families being swept away. 

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