As you know Jade and I were in Nepal recently, and we took the opportunity to visit the Seven Women HQ in Kathmandu. We got to meet Anita, who manages the centre, and Padam, who, as a man, is integral to the successful operation of the charity (Nepal has laws that prevent women from owning property). There we also met one of the original Seven Women,who has learned english and is now supervising education at Seven Women HQ.
Stephanie is an Australian women from Melbourne, who founded the organisation 8 years ago, when she was just 22. She travelled the slums of the world for a year, before finding her life’s work in a tin shed in Nepal. She had found seven disabled women living and making soaps and candles there, that they couldn’t sell. Because of the stigma’s associated with disabled people at the time (the popular belief is that you are being punished for what you did in a past life), and details with the law’s discrimination against women, they were barely earning enough money to support themselves with their basic needs.
Seven Women was born together with these women, with Stephanie’s last $200 to train them in sewing and felt making, then bought their products and sold them in Australia. Steph worked with them on designs that would suit the Australian market, then bought their products and sold them in Australia. From what these women earned from their own efforts, they were then able to pay for their basic needs and invest in education in literacy and numeracy. Many of the women then returned to their villages to pass their skills and knowledge on to women they considered worse off than themselves.
Seven Women has grown from strength to strength, now working with over 760 women. They won the “most inspiring Ethical Enterprise Award” in 2014 in Australia, and put the the $10,000 prizemoney towards the property we visited this April.
The charity is opening chapters in Indigenous Australia and Africa this year, and they are launching their documentary “Bringing The Light” this month in Melbourne and Sydney. You can see the trailer here: Bringing The Light – Seven Women Doco Trailer and book your ticket here: Bringing The Light – Seven Women Doco tix .
You can also support them by purchasing their products from our website: IntoYou Shop or the charity’s online shop: Seven Women Shop . If any of you would like to join Jade and I, we are going to the launch with many of our Hike Nepal Trekkers on Wednesday 18th May, at the Orpheum in Cremorne, at 6.30pm. We hope to see you there!