Chetana Women's Skill Development Project is a non- profit organisation in Kaski, Nepal, dedicated to providing life changing opportunities through education and skill-development for women and their children.

Hand weaving by the Chetana Ladies

When British Wheel of Yoga teacher Phillipa Wilson visited Nepal, she was overwhelmed by the determination of one women, Tara, who had dedicated her life since her recovery from cancer to making a difference to women's lives in this traditionally male dominated society, as she explained to 'Door to the Himalayas': "In Nepal, over 40% of people live below the poverty line. The Nepalese society is male-dominated and on average, women tend to work 12 hours a day  supporting their families, yet they still suffer from greater deprivation than men. Women lack education, health facilities and economic opportunities. The women I met while visiting the 'Chetana Women's Skill Development Project' in Kaski have the opportunity to change their lives forever. The women come from a variety of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds, widowed, divorced, abused, some arriving from rural villagers, struggling to make a living for themselves and their children. Yet they are now so happy and playful, smiling and joking.

Yoga mat bags produced by the Chetana Women's group

One of Tara's objectives is to educate these women, widen their view on life and the world, build their confidence and self-esteem and ensure their children go to school. At 'Chetana', she teaches women vocational skills to help them become self-reliant, providing them with free training for the production of Nepali handicrafts (such as weaving, dyeing, cutting, sewing and business management). After 3 months training, they then commit to work for a minimum of 2 years with the project. If after 2 years they wish to change jobs, then Tara supports them in finding what is best for them. But,of course, they can stay as long as they want to.

The Chetana Women's Skill Development Project is a non- profit organisation, fully registered with the government. The profit from the sale of products goes towards the development of the children of the women who work in the project and they are also sponsoring two orphan children through school."

How We Can Help:

The more products the project can make and sell, the better. More orders coming in means more work, and therefore more women being educated and more children in school. They turn simple white cotton into many wonderful colours, then weave it into beautiful lengths of material, when finally it is turned into an array of bags. Please visit the Yoga and Meditation shop pages, where we have a selection of colourful Yoga Mat Bags and Nepalese Traveler Bags.