Have you heard Shanti's story?
Shanti is one of the women working at the skills training centre in Kathmandu Nepal. She has come a long way in her training and there have no been rewarding economic and social opportunities that have completely altered her outlook on life. This is her story. Shanti is a young 21 year old woman. Unlike many 21 year old women we might know, Shanti not only lived in a poor rural village in the Northern side of Kathmandu Valley, but she is also deaf. Her disability wasn't the only thing keeping her feeling lonely. She wasn't able to find any work or anyone to help her in her home village.
Since Shanti was able to come to the women's skills training centre, known commonly as EPSA (Entire Power in Social Action), she was welcomed into a community which had like-minded and like-abled women. They had a vision for helping other women with disabilities. Disability in Nepal is seen as a symbol of bad luck. Most people that have even only mild disabilities, physical or otherwise, are often completely neglected and treated poorly - especially in the provision of social services or other opportunities.
So Shanti had it pretty tough before she became a part of EPSA, but was able to receive training to sew and make handmade products. She says she is very happy to have had this training - and she especially loves being able to work together with friends who, like her, have a disability but can all be trained, work, and make a living for themselves. In fact, it is more than a living, Shanti has been able to make a life for herself. Before her training, she was unskilled and had no choices, but she is a very hard-working and determined young lady who has set out to learn her training off-by-heart so she can do as best as she can.
Shanti has a brother and sister, and both her parents work as farmers in the field where she lived. Her parents are now so proud and happy for Shanti because they know there was nothing for her to do in their rural village. But now she is part of the vibrant and joyful community at EPSA where they are able to earn money, work hard, gain respect and dignity, and invest back into their lives and communities with the extra money they earn.
Shanti's story is just one among many of the women at the centre in Nepal who have been positively impacted by the centre. Please know that by supporting Seven Women, you are helping to enable women like Shanti to receive training, dignity and investment opportunities for them and their families into the future. How fantastic is that! It also means that whenever you purchase a product for yourself or for a present, there is a story to tell behind the product - a story of empowerment and hope in Nepal - one woman at a time.