“Ethical Trading”. “Fair Trade”, “Fairtrade”. What does it all mean?
When you see the “FairTrade” symbol, we can be sure that producers have been offered higher “fairer” wages in a better working condition. It also takes into account care of the environment and generally creates the opportunity for producers to take control over their position in the process.
Nangi is an uncertified producers group that is inspired by fair trade ethics, our main focus is mobilizing the community to act locally. In the paper making instance, we can contribute financially to the local secondary school. This not only creates opportunities for rural children to attend, but provides the facilities for local adults to further their education online. One example of this is a nursing training.
Ethical trading is a name for what trade should essentially be about. It is a tool for community development and can be used anywhere in the world!
In Nangi Village, we have a renewable resource, we have a community that understands and respects all people as equal.
We have a reason to work, and a willingness to work.
Nangi Village women’s paper enterprise began to generate funds into their local High school. Specifically- local teacher’s wages.
The future, is about maintaining Nangi’s structure, diversifying our product range, and replicating in interested neighboring village.
To do this in Nepal is simple. What we need outside of Nepal, is support.
Check out our initial range, and get in touch with ideas to help us grow!
Our most recent supporter is Grassroots Ecostore- check them out online;
Nangi Village is a unique community that is circulated with social enterprises that deliver funding into the local boarding school. With this in mind, the local women’s group began making traditional hand made paper from a local, sustainable resource called Lokta/Daphne.
This beautiful smelling tree reshoots, and can be cut biannually for paper making. Equally as important to environmental care, we are continuing to develop boutique and necessary products that are sold to a western market to continue supporting the paper enterprise and its community investments.The women are free to come to work as they please, and we have a working environment that promotes independence, equality, openly discussed wages, and people’s happiness.
Call out for a team
As we have passed through the pilot phase of this wee social enterprise, it is time to find a team.
A team of people in Australia who want and need just the same as the Nangi community so.
By this, I mean education, choices, independence, laughter and a varied diet that can only come from having some sort of income. This criteria may include a vast number of people, the next step, is to specify skills and sub projects. Whether we merge into a co-op or non profit, the real priorities now lie in getting Nangi produce sold. And this needs a team.
It has been far too long since my stay in Nangi, but it is almost becoming clearer, the impact the project is having on the village. Simply because they keep making, training, asking for direction on market demand, and wondering how we could get a paper cutting machine so that we can throw away all of our stanley knives. I am lucky to be able to see what happens when a women’s day of work changes from hard labour with no income, to laughing in a pile of paint and paper, with an income. People stay and fulfil some dreams, even the school begins to benefit.
Interesting website! Great things!
Starting a new
Today. whatever day it is, marks the day where I become organized! It is all very well to believe in what these women do, and to strive by their presence and their fine work. BUT- there must be balance! Australia means business.
What do I want to happen in Australia?
We need to be clear with you.
You need to know that these women are passionate, individual and committed to their village’s progress. You need to know that we believe in flexibility. Things MUST change as we grow and develop! At present, they are interested in developing the school and we see the importance of assessing this developmental choice in the context of the whole village and what new needs arise.
What we will always keep is a community based communication system.
We need trust in our products.
We are learning a lot in the village, and the biggest thing, is how to experiment. One of the most important things really! With experimentation may come new and exciting products, efficiency and an understanding of our forest. In Australia, there are some avenues we hope to target that will encompass a wider market. You don’t need to draw or write to use “White Circles’” paper!
Wait and see.
It’s time to document some of the work of White Circles. A screening of The High Road by Myee G, will take place at the UNE, Armidale NSW Friday the 11th November at 7pm.
It is an honor to have been involved in the documentary.
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Come check us out in Daylesfod . 5th October.
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Fair Trade…. Fairtrade
home in aus
Just to share with you a few thoughts that relate to White Circles and social change.
From afar, some 20 women are going about their lives with enthusiasm and trust in what is happening in Australia.
The winter trade has been steady, but interest is positive. Spring time marks the time to kick start trade, and there are some new avenues to tap into. Education here in Australia will play a key role! Spreading the word to why shopping with awareness is actually circulating to better places across the globe.
It is a challenge I constantly battle with, to limit my purchases to Australian made, or a community development project.
Local garlic is very hard to find.
I need some new joggers that are not made in China.
And some good ink pencils that also don’t support a trade I am not interested in.
It follows on to meat, and the question of changing the industry. Is it better to eat none at all…. or buy meat that advocates free range? Therefore making a stand to the reasons why I don’t eat meat.
Do I fly home and pay half the price, or go on the train for 2 days?
Being home, and away from Nepal is allowing me to resettle into the environment I want to market in. It is inspiring me to develop new products that link within this lifestyle, and I feel good about it!
Documentary out soon!
New people. New forest. New dialect… and a road less travelled.
Some time in April or May for a short week.
P.R in Australia
Nangi Second Input
It’s post monsoon, holidays for the biggest festival of the year… and there is a lot of field work to be done before the dry season.
Nevertheless, my unexpected arrival to check the progress of Kitaab (Book) making, proved satisfying for both parties. I was excited to see their creative initiatives, just as excited to see the quality kept high, and even more excited to see their enthusiasm to start work again after farming work subsides.
I cannot be anything but proud of Nangi village, and learn from their commoradory, independance, and exclusion from some cultural barriers. I am dedicated to the continual support and excited to try a similar model with another village.
It is with pleasure that I present our first season of products…
All are blank inside.
20 gram paper, about 100 pages.
Sizes range from 15x15cm to 18x20cm
Most have 20 pages of 40 gram paper.
Sizes range from 15x15cm – 22x22cm
Nangi Village – A successful small enterprise which generates income through traditional artistic skills. . . Income that sustains a number of women’s families, as well as contributes to the local school of Nangi village….. I have a lot of faith in this school. It is supported by Himanchal Education foundation. – http://www.himanchal.org/ which have tremendously sustainable ideas. Where internet access is their main success.
The hand made journals in this village have come from the abundance of Lokta tree which is located in the jungle on our doorstep. Resources are naturally regenerated, organic, and totally sustainable.
Production of the paper and books is very casual. If women chose to come and work, we welcome them, and they receive a daily wage. We also think it is pretty important that their home environment is not jeopardized. Collecting grasses for animals and general farm maintainability takes up a significant chunk of their day.
One thing to consider here would be to decrease the home labor by producing better grasses and researching some relevant environmental changes.
SEPANA (DREAM) NEPAL.
The contrast in Nangi village to Pumdi village is both inspiring, shocking and motivating. I walk down to a much less physically demanding environment. Where the cultural barriers are far higher for me. There is a different understanding of development here… maybe the result of being close to Pokhara city where tourism is what the city strives on. Whatever it be – I am still learning about it and any such thought I pass here – are MINE and not justified by anything more than my experiences.
Sapana Nepal works in Pumdi, and do much more than inspiring education. Sepana Nepal looks ahead into keeping things sustainable. I want to help this. I want something long lasting…. and I want somet
hing FUN…. What is fun – time, an experience… A FEELING … and state of mind.
So far Sapana has done a good job in developing the creative mind and introducing colour. That in itself for me is incredibly exciting.
We have played around with some Batik here on possible marketable items in Australia. At this stage I hope to go home with some samples, tests, development and positivity. And I feel in the future there are big possibilities for a womens program here. The biggest feat is gaining trust in what we are selling. I would be ever so happy to work along side these women.
HARVESTING IN THE JUNGLE
For practical reasons, I wasn’t going to take a camera into the jungle to harvest… So this is my latter impression of what it was….
THE NEPALI KETI’S HAVE ARRIVED!
These Nepali women are a pleasure to spend time with. I started out a tad frightened, and now – day 2, have snuck out of the lesson to pour my excitement onto the page. I – once again, feel perfectly comfortable. The only barrier being my stomach and it’s cravings for salad and fruit!!!
Day one was at first a shock to try and understand where we must start from. I felt a communication barrier, and exhausted by the end of it. Labeling it as work, not life…. which I wasn’t impressed with. In redemption, today they have surprised me with little accordian books they’ve made, and open critisism of their work. Fabulous! Mind you the most important thing was that I felt a relationship growing today. I’m not separate from them, I am with them.
Today we simply played.. I tried to gauge where each lady wanted to be creatively and who was simply more passionate about boiling the potatoes for lunch. We played with colour, sewing, cutting, folding and drank tea!
It feels great. Just day two, and who have something to work with… some communication skills growing and feel confident about an income!
OUR life is bliss! Take a deep breath!
It’s Nangi again – and it’s cold. But this time, I don’t mind. The cold is something that bothers us when there’s no substitute for warmth. I feel cold, when I feel like nothing is happening around me. This can happen anywhere! My point- Nangi is a bustling place of development. There is Muthi working in the community gardens to replant jungles in the region. There are sewing groups by the mothers, there are museums going up, there are yaks nearby to harvest and milk, even maybe make cheese… and ofcourse there is Loktha – the wonder paper which – to my delight, is beautiful to paint on as well as being sustainable, and durable!
My progress here has been solo at this stage, as the women have some serious farming to get on with. Next week, or tomorrow, who knows… there will be some eager women to join me in my painting experiments, printing and just being creative with what fabulous opportunities we have here. It is an absolute pleasure to get my creative mind going, in the foothills of the Annapurna range with good hot tea on tap.
My sewing experience is put to trial here… If anyone has used a peddle sewing machine, it is actually harder than you expect. The rhythm is everything! This is something, as well as straight cutting (all paper is cut by hand- so if anyone comes across a gillertine in Nepal- I pay a good price!!!!!) that the women in Nangi put me to shame on.
Nearby, I am also lucky enough to have a Nettle weaving village. Just typing this makes me excited. A NETTLE WEAVING VILLAGE>>>> supported by UNDP- income generation is what they do!
I can trust them, and clearly from my expedition today with wise Muthi,
I could see they are doing humble things with no obligation to commit to anything or anyone. What I want to do- is encourage what more we could do here. There are opportunities to employ more than 8 women I know! This product is beautiful…. natural, unique and multifaceted. Soon you’ll be writing in natural books, wearing your nettle garment in some finely embroidered slippers…. all made with love!
I like this place a lot. think I could make it a home… Not a stop over place to learn and move on having “experienced”… I think rather- it is a place to continue coming back to. I would rather be somewhat blended or even unnoticed, than be a “volunteer” to play, and excite people for a few weeks. That stuff annoys me a tad… maybe because I know it’s not sustainable – that excitement unfortunately, few people hold forever. Sounds negative, but I don’t mean it that way. I just want something more long lasting…. NOT like this cold….
Why do I want to do this? Why do I bother trundling to remote places to be bitten by dogs or overwhelmed by the stench of 25000 slaughtered, rotting animals, for the sake of culture and religion?
(This article will give you a brief outlook on this- a tame edition that is!)
My first major handicraft investigation led me to Janakpur in the South of Nepal. Unfortunately via some pretty horrific festivals….. but my experience in one center know as; “Janakpur Womens Development Center”
in particular was refreshing after the shock of the personal challenges that came with the animal slaughter festival. These women feed off each others dedication and creative energies. They have an immense sense of unity that is so evident in the passion for making such an environment peaceful and easy to be in. Me being an outsider, felt as ease in this place, like our common language was their work, and being female. Which, to be entirely absorbed in, is an incredibly beautiful, warm experience.
In terms of my involvement here, I would be excited to help them export, but not able to work in this particular area due to some of these personal barriers.
I find myself so vulnerable to the energies of these crafty places, but then can be in the middle of Kathmandu city, head down, blind to the poverty around me. I guess this shows where I am, or should be placed. I can’t do a thing about the Kathmandu streets I guess, so why waste my energy on contaminating my sensors? I can feel peace on having my filters on, as there is a lot of beauty to be seen… you’ve just got to be strong in being ruthless with what you absorb.
I’m back… finally. I claimed i’d be back here a while ago, but, for the best, was stalled. So now- it’s the beginning of a Nepali winter – the clear season.. and thats what I feel – clear that here is where I should be for the next wee while…
Post benefit analysis.
In short -
Total raised $800.65
Spending intentions – At this stage, this money will be put aside, high interest account.
I will be in contact with the orphanage to see how their current living finances are going. If they are sustainable until my arrival, research into the best possible investment will take place.
Ideas / think take which I would love you to add to;
*Materials for craft vocational training.
*Scholarships for a group to participate in micro credit training.
*Rescuing more girls.
*Agricultural supplies to sustain their living environment.
*Employment of Nepali carers in the orphanage so that girls have more time to study, play and relax.
Please trust that this will be updated as soon as appropriate.
Where to start?
How to express it…?
I don’t know where I’ll ever find so much selfLESS, committed love.
But what I do know, is that 669 Lygon street- 8th August was a hub of energetic dedication to concept of making someone else’ life, one totally unbeknown and unfamiliar to most, a little more comfortable.
From Michael’s eternal excitement with this mountain of clothes that he had the opportunity to scavenge through…
With the fear that Claire held over everybody when auctioning off a bowling ball from the top of a stair case…
and the blessing of Brice’ Spanish tortia complimented with Sharif’s competitive babaganush… only to be overwhelmed by Felipe and his abundance of Hommus made from true organic home produce!
All … in the humbling presence of these phenomenal musicians;
Pretty Strangers; http://www.myspace.com/prettystrangersband
Bright Mountains, http://www.myspace.com/brightmountains
Nikki Lee Williams
.. There are too many people to Thank. BUt a standing mountain of pure bliss,,, is Laura- who’s house, she opened as a venue second to none.
Em- for her organisational skills, ideas, pure enthusiasm and trust in the project.
SO_ How do I feel?? Not that this was about me… but I feared I would show a bit of fear for my anticipated journey. I also thought I may show sadness for leaving this amazing group of people. But I didn’t, because I KNOW it will always be there… and I KNOW that with the worlds support- a project like this in Nepal WILL be successful. We just need to keep an open mind, then – anything is possible.
Lets just begin!
WHAT ARE THE FACTS
A change in attitude,,,
Looking back on this basically untouched blog of mine… I see how much things have changed…