während meiner zeit in nepal ist vieles schief gegangen: die organisation, mit der ich vor ort war, war unzuverlässig und profitgeil, die hälfte meiner zeit habe ich auf grund eines unglücklichen zusammentreffen mit einem elefanten im spital verbracht und das abrupte, durch ein erdbeeben hervorgerufene ende beschäftigt mich bis heute. nichtsdesto trotz gab es auch schöne momente: mein praktikum bei MOVERS&SHAKERS zum beispiel. dort habe ich einige artikel veröffentlich und arbeitete, in der woche des erdbeebens, gerade an einem weiteren. leider wurde dieser nie publiziert. deswegen möchte ich die gelegenheit nutzen und ihn hier publizieren:
charlotte was wearing one of the HATTIHATTI kimonos while waving and smiling at us. proudly, she presented us the office – a room that is decorated and arranged properly and with a lot of passion. i immediately felt comfortable even though the sound of the three sewing machines was as loud as a construction side. charlotte offered me and the tailors tea, who smiled thankfully at her but didn’t make any effort to stop their work. carefully the three women cut, sewed or ironed various pieces of fabrics, which have originally been sarees. little wooden baskets are standing next to the sewing machines. “we don’t waste anything. we keep even the tiniest piece and recycle it. that’s why we have those little wooden boxes here”, explained charlotte who had followed my view.
all started as a small micro project. due to the warm welcome and the loving support from friends and family here in nepal, charlotte mellkvist and david geiser felt like giving something back, do something useful and not simply travel the country. they wanted to contribute with their knowledge and not just donate money to a big organization, so they decided to create their own little organisation back in august 2014.
in the beginning they just wanted to do some fundraising by selling chocolate and sweets at the 1905 famer’s market in thamel but soon they realized that they had so much demand that they couldn’t come up with the order. that’s when they decided to take on employees. being on farmer’s market, talking to other exhibitors charlotte and david felt inspired by their stories and felt the need, not only to help their friends and families but also to encourage others to follow their dreams of having an own business. together with SAATH (=social service awareness raising & advocacy for tranquility & humanity) they found three women, sabita chaudhary, sanu majhi and padma kumari syngtan, whom they not only give a job but also the opportunity to participate in math and english classes as well as learn something about entrepreneurship so that, in the future, they will be able to open their own business and be entrepreneurs themselves.
charlotte herself designed the elephant logo not only because elephants have been her favorite animals but also because they take so good care of each other in a flock. they wanted decisive have the same atmosphere in their organization. the swedish flag was decisive for the colors they had chosen: blue and yellow. and because they want to take care of their own “flock”, they decided that 30% of every single item they sold will go to a saving account to which the tailors will have access as soon as they want to start their own business. so they will not only have knowledge and sewing skills but also a starting capital.
and what’s next?
at the end of april, charlotte and david have to go back to sweden and leave their project behind. “on one hand it is nice to see that they can do it without us. even if we started it, everyone has it own part and the women here are actually managing the whole organization. they are making the chance.” told me charlotte. and david added: “We will physically be back in sweden but our hearts and minds will be here in nepal. we didn’t expect it to be this great. it was a fantastic experience.“