Nicole and the staff at Darn Good Yarn received a heartfelt and informative email from one of the co-ops in Nepal. Beni of Beni Nepali Handicrafts sends her warm wishes to us all. She also describes some of the many challenges that have made life more difficult since the earthquake in Nepal. There are many jewels of love within this greeting and one of the most promising for Darn Good Yarn is that through our employment of workers, Beni works with and supports Steps Foundation Nepal. The Steps Foundation provides women with education, hygiene and health. Beni Nepali Handicrafts provides work for women in need while raising environmental awareness. They collect rubbish, used rice bags and worn out rubber inner tubes. From this waste they create a collection of ‘attractive and functional’ products, giving a ‘second life’ to the rubbish of Kathmandu. Darn Good Yarn is very proud to share with you our connection/communication with the skilled workers and a window into their lives.
Here is Beni's letter:
Dear all my dearest friends and family
wishing you all merry Christmas
Since last year many things have happened - and I have not been good
keeping all my friends informed - I apologize.
So David is helping me to write this 'Beni newsletter to friends' -
In 2013 I registered Beni Handicrafts as a company, and in 2014
started Steps Foundation Nepal - this was to allow me to separate my
work/private life from the social work - basically my life has been a
Then along came the earthquake - that shook us - both my shops were
damaged, but worse: 550 houses were destroyed in Tipling. - and
thousands all over the country. We were lucky, no one in our family
was killed or hurt.
Mountain People financed 8 helicopter loads of emergency supplies
(tauplins and rice) to Tipling. Then, with many friends, we family
collected funds to pay for 14 trucks of roofing etc. to the road head,
where hundreds of villagers came to carry them over the high pass to
the village. Unfortunately, winter has come and little other aid has
reached Tipling, although some re-building has started.
I was lucky to get a new shop in the Northfield Cafe complex so we are
selling a little (few tourists), but unable to employ many women.
Steps has been holding weekly woman's meetings covering health and
legal issues the last six weeks, with on average 30 women meeting up
at Hotel Moonlight (who give us free room for meetings). My rooms were
damaged, so I have moved to a better flat, in Thamel - which is
larger, safer, and above all: I now for the first time in my life: I
have an office!!!!
Jasmine and Gogan are in boarding school - I miss them - but it is
both better and safer for them there.
Attached is not a 'usual' Christmas card, but an 'information card'.
My work hangs between my children, Beni Handicrafts and Steps - but at
last I understand that BH can not finance the work I have been doing
in a responsible and worthwhile manner. So yes, I am looking for
partners to join me - emotionally, practically and financially.
I wish to continue my life's work: woman's education, work training and
hopefully work placement, using: Steps: education-hygiene-health model
- we have already begun to distribute sanitary pads, and hold woman's
health seminars covering menstruation, uterine-prolapse - and yes: the
response from women has been positive, powerful and rewarding.
I am open to any and all ideas - and have a few of my own - so if you
feel you can contribute in anyway (not only money) then please write
to me so I can begin the process of turning a 'life-struggle' into
something that has a 'life of its own': STEPS!
With this I send warm wishes from a very cold Kathmandu - and hope
this reaches you and your family/loved ones in good health and
wishing you all happy new year 2016
Your Beni -
Darn Good Yarn loves sharing the joy of creating and with the thread of our company woven through with the gift of change while sharing the friendship and love of those that are on the other side of the world. Join the change, spread the joy, and improving the lives of women in India and Nepal! What a wonderful holiday greeting and a message we want to share with you all!