Our Rural Plan
We have helped over 600 women in Kathmandu find skills, education and employment. However, the remoteness of rural Nepal means the marginalised and disadvantaged people outside the city can find it even more difficult to gain an education and a reliable source of income.
This is why Seven Women is expanding into rural Nepal.
Our latest project focuses on farming programs in rural villages. We want to help set up greenhouses in the villages and start programs such as literacy groups, business skills courses and microfinance so marginalised women create their own stable income from the fruit and vegetables they grow.
Many women in rural and remote areas are subsistence farmers- they grow only enough food to feed their family. However, this kind of farming carries big risks as if the crop fails there will be nothing to eat and no money to buy food. Women who have a disability or are single mothers are seen as a burden on society, so they cannot rely on community support to get through the bad seasons.
We hope that if we provide opportunities for education and sensible financial assistance then these vulnerable women will be able to grow more produce and sell it at markets. The women will have the chance to break out of the poverty cycle and will gain self-confidence and a sense of empowerment.
The key to the project is the construction of greenhouses in each selected village. Growing produce in a greenhouse means the plants are protected from extreme weather, so less food will be lost. The greenhouses will also provide a community base for the women, one which will have a connection to the skills centres in Kathmandu, who will help with advertising and selling the fruit and vegetable in the city.
Research and excursions to villages began in 2013, and we hope to begin adult literacy classes in the next month.
This plan could not have been possible without the generous assistance of the Cooper Foundation, who are seed funding the project.