The Lagankhal Weaving Group joined the Association for Craft Producers (ACP) in 1985 with the hope of earning money for their families and children. The group started with four women who were non-traditional weavers. After receiving training from ACP, the group chose to create their own communal workshop near their homes in Kathmandu. This allowed each woman to easily work in their spare time and be near their children. The group has seen great expansion since their formation, with a total of thirteen women weavers to date. A majority of the producers are the main breadwinners in their families.
The Lagankhal Weaving Group’s affiliation with ACP and Fair Trade has transformed the economic and social opportunities for each producer. ACP’s program focuses on enhancing the dignity of women by helping them develop skills from which they can earn a living and help them to understand that their earning capacity can give them economic power and decision making in their families and communities. As part of ACP, the women from the Lagankhal Weaving Group receive the following:
- Women from the group receive a fair wage, have access to low cost health care, peer counseling services, savings programs, and funds for educating their female children.
- They have learned the value of their work, which gives them greater power in the marketplace.
- Each producer has access to a welfare fund, a bonus program, informal educational events, and access to low-cost loans.
Ganesh Himal Trading has worked with the Lagankhal Weaving Group since they joined ACP in 1985. We order from the group every two months on a year round basis so that these women have constant work. This is where many of Ganesh Himal’s beautiful table runners, rugs and napkins are made.
The Lagankhal group has always worked in a rented space in their community so that they could be close to their children and families. After 25+ years the space had become run down yet their landlord didn’t want to invest in the building. Ganesh Himal Trading knew how important it was for these women to work in their community so in 2011 agreed to raise $5000 needed to rebuild the workshop. We created a challenge for our customers where Ganesh Himal would donate $2500 and we challenged our customers to help raise the other $2500. By early 2012 the money was raised and in Oct 2012 the workshop restoration was finished! It was a wonderful collaborative process between Ganesh Himal Trading, our customers, and the weavers. Now they have a beautiful, well lit work space right near their children.
Below is the email Denise sent out to our customers on Oct 10, 2012.
Lagankhal Weaving Workshop Finished!
“I just wanted to share with you the email and photos that I woke up to a few weeks ago (see below) since many of our customers were an integral part in making this happen! I hope it brings as much joy to your day as it did to mine! I also want to thank you all again (and again and again) for your donations to help make this rebuild happen and for your patience since it has been an almost 2 year process to get it completed! Things just take time in Nepal and your patience and understanding has been a great help to us all.
In our last Ganesh Himal newsletter I wrote a column expressing our deepest appreciation for the community of stores we work with and for your faith in partnering with us and with the producers we work with. This comment is not said lightly. What you have done for these women is amazing and it will help them to change their lives and gives them hope. Please see the email and photos below that I received from ACP.”
Greetings from ACP!
We are delighted to share with you the workshop of Bhagwati has been completed. It is very spacious, plenty of light and simply wonderful. As it has been just completed they are in the process of setting it up properly. Thus it does not look very organized yet. But we wanted to share with you the pictures right away. Please find attached some pictures of it.
Once again we thank you for your generous support. Without out you this would not have been possible.
Revita, Association for Craft Producers, Kathmandu, Nepal