Katey’s first stop in Kathmandu was at the Local Women’s Handicrafts shop. She checked in with Nasreen, and picked up a bunch of the old favorites as well as some new things she’s excited to share with you! She stocked up on new designs in coin purses, jewelry, wrap skirts, and some new recycled silk carpets. Katey was also provided with the opportunity to visit the manufacturing facility of LWH in the outskirts of Kathmandu. Getting out there and back was an adventure in itself!

LWH is a Fair Trade collective in the Kathmandu valley which specializes in textiles of every variety from clothing to rugs to purses. The project was developed by Nasreen in order to help women who were escaping from forced marriages or trying to support themselves. Their main mission is to educate and empower women “with the intent to change the social and cultural norms in Nepal.” As their work and mission are spreading, Nareen and LWH are able to support a growing number of women. Last summer when Katey first visited, LWH employed 10 women. This year they have 25 women being trained in handicrafts.

Due to the fuel shortages caused by the unofficial blockade of the border by India, Katey and her guide walked to the main road and caught one of the buses that are still running to the edge of the city. The buses do not run on any schedule as it seems to depend on if there is enough gas to run their routes. Once Katey reached the end of the line, she was met by Nasreen’s brother who walked with her to LWH’s facility. It was a beautiful day for a walk, but it took more than an hour for the journey from the shop to the workshop. While this is fine for Katey as a visitor, it is a huge expense of time and effort for the women as they transition between places.

The facility itself is still under construction. The property was purchased before the earthquake, and the foundations built, but much of the work is on hold as the supplies are difficult to source in light of the closed borders. But, the women have space to work, and beautiful scenery! In fact, due to the fabulous weather, a few of them had decided to work on the roof to make the most of the light breeze. The women were extremely kind and gracious and took their time to show Katey how they made their handicrafts. Katey was not able to spend as much time as she would have liked, but she had to make the walk back to the city before evening set.

You can read more about LWH at their website: www.lwhnepal.com or on Facebook.


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