This post is about the new project that I am working on, in my spare time. I was so enthused by the entrepreneurship demonstrated by many of the Nepalis, that outside of my VSO placement at the Ministry of Education, I wanted to learn more and help out in the area of social entrepreneurship. So I got in touch with Change Fusion Nepal, who promote entrepreneurship and they introduced me to Fulmaya and the Bhattedanda Womens Cooperative located in Kavre, a couple of hours outside of the city.
Here’s a great video that explains more about Fulmaya and the ladies achievements in Kavre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa3joBpCO5A
Some facts about Kavre:
- The district has a total population of 383,056
- The town has an historical and development story, being the first area to get a purified water supply and it has a growing tourism sector with hundreds of small and big hotels and resorts
- More than 86 % of the population live in rural areas
- The literacy rate is 39.6 %; males (56.2 %) and females (23.7 %)
The majority of the community are Tamang, indigenous of the Himalaya regions. They are one of the major Tibeto-Burman speaking communities and trace their ancestry from Tibet, and even Mongolia.
They use traditional farming techniques for their subsistence farming.
So my task is to work with the women to identify and test income generation opportunities, whereby they can grow their substantial savings, as well as creating jobs and support for their community.
I spent a week in Dhulikhel and as part my market research. I met with various local businesses, the ex mayor (another inspirational character who introduced the purified water system and tourism in the area) and of course Fulmaya and her lovely family. The visit coincided with Dashain so all Fulmaya’s children were home. They were very hospitable, showing me around, teaching me to cook Tamang food and invited me to their celebrations, which included the grandmother spinning me around during the dancing.