Women of Nepal. Dignity. Empowerment. Reintegration. WONDERWorks provides women and children with a new lease of life.
Residing in one of the poorest counties in the world, the women of Nepal face caste and gender discrimination on a daily basis. With a strong, dominant and patriarchal society, it often means that both women and children of all ages are sold, trafficked or sent away, often ending up working in the entertainment industry. Low literacy levels, lack of skills and little or no understanding of their rights, they are easily exploited. WONDERWorks aims to empower women who hope to break away, so they may lead a life free of stigma and violence.
What is WONDERWorks?
Having previously been involved with several Himalayan Light Foundation projects in Nepal, WONDERWorks co-founders and dedicated mamas, Chulie Davey and Maxine Savidge, formed an unconditional love for the country and set out on a mission in early 2012 to change to the lives of women.
By April they had successfully reintegrated twelve women back in to society with seven small businesses and as the years went by, the organisation began to grow. WONDERWorks are now involved in a series of projects that support and aid those in need in many different aspects of their lives.
What do they do?
With an initial goal to set up women with small businesses such as food carts, Kirana shops, beauty salons, tea houses and so on, WONDERWorks now works with local NGOs to improve the lives of entertainment workers in a number of areas.
This Hong Kong registered charity holds annual fund-raising events in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, which enables them to carry out their projects. Prior to setting up a business, ladies must attend compulsory business workshops, involving ledger training, hygiene and organisational skills, among others. WONDERWorks also supports a health nurse who runs health classes, clinics and provides outreach work to establishments around Kathmandu. They also provide skills training such as tailoring and barista courses and in 2016 will be introducing a community centre which will offer a range of activities like therapy classes, self defence, baby groups and also a shelter for emergency cases.
How can you help?
Did you know that as little as HKD$775 funds a home tailoring business for an exploited woman? Each donation to their Just Giving page is guaranteed to go directly to the intended purpose and no matter how big or small, it goes a long way in changing the course of someone’s life. However, the opportunities to help are not just limited to donations and funding businesses, a gesture as small as liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter helps to spread the word and raise awareness in more ways than you know.
WONDERWorks are always happy to hear from volunteers who may be able to help with teaching skills, so if you would like to get involved, be on the look out for updates or contact Chulie and Maxine directly – they would love to hear from you! Together, Sassy Girls, we can empower women.
All images are credited to WONDERWorks.