Blogs and News - St George's School, Edinburgh
In the final days of our trip, when we were back in Kathmandu, we went to a place called the ‘Local Women’s Handicraft’ it was an organisation set up by a former child-labourer - Nasreen. She did not know how old she was, but guessed that she was in her early twenties. Girls’ births are not recorded in her native rural village, nor are girls allowed to go to school. They’re also forced to get married, often when they’re still children themselves. At age 9 or 10, Nasreen ate, slept, and worked 12-15 hours a day in a cramped sweatshop, receiving less than $2 per shift. She was lucky. She was able to escape the sweatshop and forced marriage thanks to a kind stranger who educated and encouraged her. Around the age of 16, she founded the Local Women’s Handicrafts (LWH), a Fairtrade sewing enterprise in Kathmandu.
She employs, and empowers, disadvantaged women and provides them with an opportunity for a better life. She provides paid training in clothing and jewellery design and an opportunity to sell their products. Over 100 women have been trained, many of whom have escaped forced and abusive marriages. LWH women also provide health kits, reusable sanitary supplies and medical help for rural women. They distribute handmade backpacks with school supplies to impoverished children, make reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic, and provide disaster relief in times of crisis.
For us, this experience highlighted the importance of an education, especially for women in Nepal, and brought home how fortunate we are. Education can liberate women (in Nepal) and allows them to make something of themselves without having to be dependent on anyone.
Charlotte (Lower 6)