The beautiful Central Asian country of Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries. In 2007, it was ranked as the 10th poorest country in the world. By 2014, Nepal had risen to the 18th poorest country. What was this positive change attributed to? One of the biggest factors in the change in rankings amongst the world’s poorest was due to microfinancing programs. Microfinancing usually consists of small loans and financial assistance to battle dire poverty and to promote economic opportunities for small rural communities. Businesses in Nepal fight against a very adverse economic climate, an employment gender gap, and extreme poverty rates. The women of Nepal were amongst the main clients of these micro loan programs and many women joined together to form working groups; many of these groups created handicrafts (various items made by hand, often at artisan level).
Faced with this already difficult economic situation, Nepal was slammed by two huge earthquakes in April and May of 2015. Over 250,000 buildings were damaged partially or completely by the quake. The damaged buildings were residences, temples, monasteries, hotels, and other places of business. Many Nepali’s not only lost their homes, but also lost their jobs because the places where they worked sustained damaged in the quake.
The Nepal earthquakes of 2015 affected more than 1/3 of the population. After the quakes, the government approximated that 1 million Nepali’s were sent back into poverty due to the direct consequences of the quakes. In the year after the disaster, Nepal fell from 18th to the 12th poorest country in the world and some of the fantastic progress that they had achieved has been lost.
The non-profit group, Compassion Without Borders (CWB), has been working in Nepal for almost 20 years and is now beginning a new training program for women’s handicrafts in Bhaktapur in Kathmandu, Nepal. We know from the history of the microfinancing programs in Nepal that women’s handicraft groups have had positive effects in the lives of those involved. CWB’s new handicraft training program will help women in Kathmandu whose lives were changed by the quakes. An experienced artisan will train the women in the art of making hand-made objects, such as scarves, caps, mittens, purses, soap holders and scrubbers, just to mention some of the potential items. The women will be involved in an activity that will lead to an income stream. Compassion Without Borders is excited to be able to support the amazing women of Nepal.
CWB is looking for donations to help fund the new women’s handicraft training program. We need to rent a space to hold the training, purchase materials, advertise the training, provide a small meal for the trainees, and to advertise the finished products on an online marketplace. If you would like to donate, please go to:
Gofundme.com/tba5d4 or Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: cwb4nepal.com or Email: email@example.com
Thank you all. Please let me know what you think of the new CWB handicraft training project.
Dr. Kim Berling
Hi. My name is Dr. Kim Berling and I am the founder and President of the non-profit organization, COMPASSION WITHOUT BORDERS (CWB). I have been working to help the people of Nepal since 1998. Nepal is my favorite place of earth and I hope you learn to love it too!