FAIR TRADE CANADIAN WHOLESALE - ETHICAL GIFTS
Didi Bahini

Didi Bahini primarily exists to support socially minded artisans in Nepal find markets in North America. However knowing that poverty is so pervasive in Nepal, we want to do something to help the more destitute population as well. Didi Bahini is committed to providing 5% of its profits to programs that help to empower women and children - statistically the most vulnerable groups.

SOCIAL COMMITMENT

Sarita Kharki, 13, (left) from Sindupalchowk district (NE of Kathmandu), and Gyanu Bista, 15, from Makawanpur district (south of Kathmandu) both work as domestic servants in Nepali homes in Kathmandu. Their families are in the village in Nepal. Sarita has been here one year and Gyanu just three months. Both sets of employers give the girls time off to come attend the 3-hour class each day. The teacher had pointed out Sarita as the student who never misses a day. She had attended school until Class 2 in the village a few years ago, but is now glad to have this opportunity to learn. She says "I'd like to go to school after this class is finished

Kabita Bhujel, 11, (right photo) and Shayamaya Rana Magar, 11, are both from Gorkha district (west of KTM). Their fathers came in search of work and then brought the families. Both fathers work as porters carrying goods and furniture in Kathmandu, earning about Rs 2-300/day (C$ 3-4).

Tirtha Mijhar, 13, (next photo) is from Okladunga district in east Nepal. His parents came to Kathmandu to look for work 12 years ago. They are illiterate and so earn a living selling peanuts and firewood on the street. He helps to roast the peanuts to sell. Tirtha has been coming to the class since it started six months ago.

Sabita Upreti, 14, (middle kid) attended the class last year (supported by a UN agency, which has now stopped funding this kind of project) and now attends school. Since it is winter break, she attends the class each day to keep learning. Her parents sell firewood for a living.

Subnam Seikh, 11, attends the class although she has been in school until Class 4. Since her father abandoned the family and took all their money, her mother has struggled to support the family doing washing at a hotel. Her mother is a refugee, who was forced to leave Bhutan 15 years ago. (Bhutan came to have the highest per capita number of refugees when it evicted a third of its population in the early 1990s.) Subnam had to quit school because her mother could not pay the fees, but she comes to the class everyday. We hope to provide a scholarship to Subnam when the new school year starts in April.

SOUP tells us that at least 13 of the kids will be ready to start attending government schools in April. CORE plans to help pay their school fees of $50 per year per student. Part of our strategy is to link provision of a scholarship with micro-finance support to the parents so that they can start or improve their micro-enterprises and build their financial ability to be able to pay their kids school fees themselves. As well, we will investigate ways of providing a meal for the 'out-of-school' class, since many of the kids are sent to the class without having been fed.
 
Just a quick note so you can see your donation in action and some of the people CORE helps.

Our donation this year has been made through CORE International.

CORE International is a Canadian registered but Nepal based organization that seeks to connect Canadian donors with good programs that target vulnerable groups in Nepal. Didi Bahini has been asked to support a group of out-of-school children of female micro-entrepreneurs in Kathmandu who generally sell fruits or vegetables along the roadside. Most make around $1 a day. The funds are provided to the Society for the Urban Poor (SOUP) an NGO that organizes the payment for a schoolroom and teaching staff. With their children off the streets and in a constructive learning environment, the female entrepreneurs can better focus on the important task of making an income for the family.

The following are articles from the most recent newsletter we have received from Core International regarding this project.

© 2016 Didi Bahini
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