Career perspectives through sewing for women in Nepal, Kathmandu
May 11, 2019
After the first training program for seamstresses in Suntakhan, the second course started in January 2019. Through sewing training, women in Nepal become more independent and self-reliant while still being able to take care of their family duties.
Entering the bright basement of an apartment building in Kathmandu (Devi Than, Jorpati), we are warmly welcomed by several women from the Hyolmo community. The instructor of the sewing class welcomes us, proudly shows us the already made pieces of the participants and is very happy about the fabrics we brought with us. After the first training program initiated by Long Yang e.V. (June 2018 – December 2018) for seamstresses in Suntakhan was a complete success, the second course already started in January 2019.
A training offer compatible with family duties
14 women from the Helambu region (50 km northeast of Kathmandu), have come to Kathmandu with their families to establish a better future for themselves. They have been trained as tailors/seamstresses since January 2019 in order to be able to finance a living with their craft. This is not very easy in Nepal, especially for housewives who take care of the family most of the day. It is particularly difficult for women “from the countryside” without vocational training to gain a foothold in the city and to contribute to the family income beyond casual jobs or to become more independent and self-reliant.
At “family-friendly” times, the women are taught by an experienced seamstress during the day in two shifts in small groups of no more than 7 people. Detached from their usual environment, in a safe setting and with like-minded women, they can improve their skills for 2 hours a day. On sewing machines and with needle and thread, small, simple products are made at first. Later, they can also create more complicated pieces which they may take home for their own use. The women came to the course with no previous experience and after 2 months they are already able to use a wide variety of techniques. The first bags, yoga bags, pencil cases and blouses speak for themselves.
The women are very happy about the opportunity they get in this course.
They show us the parts they have made, tell us what they have already learned – and above all what they still want to learn. “At the beginning I didn’t know anything and I didn’t imagine that I could learn this… and now two months later I’m sewing my first kurta (blouse)“, one of the participants tells us joyfully.
Since Long Yang e.V. recognized the motivation and commitment of this group, it is planned to develop a social business out of this project, which can secure a long-term career perspective and a regular income for the women. The products can then be sold in Nepal as well as exported to interested buyers abroad. A first small selection of handmade products will already be offered this year at the “Tollwood Summer Festival” in Munich.