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THE POWER OF WOMEN COMING TOGETHER
All Shakti Milan products are handmade in Nepal and support local arts and crafts. Proceeds from the sale of our products create jobs in a positive, supportive and non-violent environment – with fair wages for all involved. Enabling financial independence and social recognition for the people working with us in one of the poorest and most beautiful countries in the world, is just one of our core values.
This is an initiative with the aim of empowering women in Nepal to become entrepreneurs and to further employ disadvantaged women in particular. Our team started the venture to support women to take control of their lives through economic opportunity.
All profits generated from the business stay in the country and are reinvested into the education of women and children, and the development of other projects and business ideas. The resulting network of professional women and free female entrepreneurs is strengthening the women’s social position and their economic security.
Shakti Milan means ‘the power of women coming together’ and is the perfect name for the first project under this initiative, which involved the setup of a bag-manufacturing site in Kathmandu. Since developing the project idea in October 2014 over a thousand bags in Nepal, Australia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been sold.
In a newly set up studio in Kathmandu, a team currently consisting of 12 women are manufacturing quality bags made from recycled materials – such as from rice sacks. These unique and handcrafted products are distributed through online channels and individual networks. The seamstresses in Nepal receive an education and a fair remuneration for their services, which allows them an economic perspective, and social recognition.
Since April 2015, we have collaborated with the Dhaka-Ladies. The team of ten women who originally come from a village in eastern Nepal, now weave beautiful cotton fabrics with traditional patterns by hand in a small workshop in Lalipur. Saru, the founder of this company has a big heart; encouraging the team to use their own ideas and implement them is part of her ethos. She operates from this small workspace, with 6 looms that we would describe as ‘antique’. Saru weaves with her team beautiful shawls with a very old traditional pattern called ‘Dhaka’.
Oliver and Kerstin Prothmann were volunteering in Nepal at the end of 2014. During this time they were hosted by Gokul Subedi, a social activist, and his wife Prakriti Mainali. The political and social situation in Nepal were discussed intensively during a long series of holidays and countless evenings without electricity. The real insight into abuse, child slavery, human trafficking and the situation of women in Nepal touched the two Germans deeply. Together Kerstin, Prakriti, Oliver and Gokul wanted to make a difference.
This was the birth of “WISE – Women in Social Entrepreneurship” and the first business idea “SHAKTI MILAN BAGS” who now ensures employment and income for disadvantaged women.
Shakti Milan is an open house.
The project is supported and carried by lots of great people and organizations.
Some of our partners we are presenting here:
Access is our partner organization in Nepal for social projects in the area of human rights focussing on children and women. All of our donations, we have collected for the earthquake victims in the frame of our campain “we-are-Nepal”, go to projects of Access.
The team of Avides ensures that all orders arrive well packaged and quickly at your doorstep. But they do more than that: Anna and Antonia are setting up and running our online shop and ensuring all our processes run smoothly.
Shakti Milan is a member of German Federal Association of Online-Trade called Bundesverband Onlinehandel. The association helps us on legal topics.
Jo and her team are bringing the Shakti Milan products to the UK. Further, they support our social projects in Nepal in many ways.