We wanted to share a quick story with you from one of our amazing suppliers in Nepal, Beni. Beni has a strong passion for helping our female artisans overcome difficult situations. This past week, she shared with us the story of one of her workers. This particular woman was in a bad marriage and having a difficult time leaving the relationship. Beni, with the help of their local community, was able to help this women leave her marriage.
Beni had a difficult childhood. She was sold into marriage at age 12 and managed to run away to Kathmandu, where she was educated and became a mid wife at age 14. She has delivered hundreds of babies in the villages surrounding her home and is considered a medicine women in Nepal. Beni started her co-op with the idea to simply help the women in her village. Now she is able to employ over 200 village women who make bags, baskets, accessories and much more from recycled rubber tires, rice bags and burlap!
Beni also does extensive work with the Step Foundation, which helps to promote social change in Nepal; especially with the distribution and education of her “Freedom Kits” which are washable sanitary pads and kits she distributes to numerous villages throughout Nepal. Through educational seminars, Beni helps educate whole village, elders, and men & women about social change surrounding outdated views of the women’s menstrual cycle. She also works with the foundation to distribute "Freedom Kits" which are comprised of washable sanitary pads.
Today, Beni is building a community educational center in Nepal which will provide vocational training, safe harbor for abused women and children and community education for social change in Nepal.