Stories of Change

Bhagbati - leading by example

Bhagbati - leading by example

The fight for independence and equality is a continual struggle for women in Nepal and for most it remains a dream to achieved by future generations. For Bhagbati Shrestha however, it is a dream coming true.

Bhagbati is an amazing young woman who has been leading her own weaving group since 1997 when she was only 18 years old. Learning to weave at 16, she showed a natural aptitude for it and was fast and efficient. With design, technical, management and marketing support from fair trade organisation Association of Craft Producers (ACP), Bhagbati’s group of thirteen women is able to support themselves and supplement their family members’ incomes as they work together on looms in rented rooms.

For Bhagbati, who had to leave school at Year 10 due to a lack of income derived from her father’s spice selling work, the weaving business has provided her the opportunity to begin studying again. She now puts the extra money she earns into funding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies which she intends to put to good use in the future by promoting the group and becoming sustainable in the long-term.

Trade Aid partner ACP was founded by and is run by a woman. It works exclusively for women, with one of its main objectives being to improve the confidence and feeling of self-worth of its producer members. Because of ACP the future looks bright for Bhagbati and her weaving group as the domestic market for textiles in Nepal improves and their local product sales increase, coupled with the growing savings held by ACP which provides added security for their future.

Trade Aid education tour participants met and talked with Bhagbati's group in 2007.
Read more about ACP - Association for Craft Producers »

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