NAFA has been assisting Tawal since 1998 with community development projects aimed at improving the health, education and economic well-being of community members. Development projects assist all members of the community, with a particular focus on women, who play a critical role in family economies in a subsistence agricultural context.
The devastating Gorkha earthquake in April 2015 increased the importance and urgency of such initiatives. A proposal for a tailor training program came out of discussions with Tawal women in November 2015. The aim of the program was for women to gain valuable sewing skills in a group setting and enhance sustainable community economic outcomes.
The tailor training program proposal attracted the attention of Nepali director of Queensford College in Brisbane. In addition to having made a generous donation soon after the earthquake to help with immediate needs, the directors were interested to support skill training and local small business initiatives.
A generous donation from Queensford College of $6,853 helped women access a six month tailoring training and business establishment program. A master tailor was sourced through the government Dhading District woman’s skill development office. Twenty women participated in the training, sharing ten sewing machines purchased through the initiative.
A NAFA executive officer (Rod Setterlund) facilitated a workshop on business skills needed to run a small tailoring business. The workshop content was well received, generating a lot of discussion within the group. Deborah Setterlund is now working with the women to look at options for advanced training and products that could be made for markets outside the area. The women’s views and intermediate outcomes of the sewing skills project were evaluated by social work student Ms Minghan Deng and further evaluations will track longer term outcomes. Two Tawal participants already have employment as a result of the training and others are setting up sewing businesses in their villages.
Partnerships with other like minded funders are welcomed by NAFA. These partnerships have helped Tawal area villages devastated by the April 2015 earthquake get back on their feet and work towards their vision of crop diversification and improved animal husbandry.
If you would like to discuss possible partnerships with NAFA, please contact Rod Setterlund, President of NAFA via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to help us complete the rebuild would also be most welcomed, go to Donations