After 3 years with our Kay Garnay for Nepal, registered NGO, things are finally starting to move. You see, no matter what I want to do, I cannot actually do anything. I need a helper. Even something as simple as making a phone call is exasperating, not just for me but the person on the other end of the call. I can only ask, not micro-manage and there is always a wedding, festival or family member in the hospital. Now they are pushing me.
That being said, we have so many projects starting now-It’s invigorating. First, we have a new website that has a lot of info about Nepal. We are uploading the book I wrote for everyone to read for free, one chapter at a time as we get it updated. I had the eBook for sale, but I’d rather more people read it and have a better time in Nepal. http://WhatAboutNepal.org It's all free.
If you want to buy from an affiliate link on our site we'll be offering some extra values. For example, we have a travel insurance finder affiliate link. If you find the right travel insurance there we can give a free room for the night at Star View Guest House as a ‘thank you’ gift. We hope to also have a Hotel booking site, as well as a few trekking guides we feel comfortable enough to recommend. But most of all, it will be everything you ever thought you’d want to know about Nepal-and then some.
We are also starting two women's initiatives, the first is for handmade,100% woolen hats and gloves. The second one is for hand-loomed pashmina, all excellent quality. If you live in a cool climate you'll love what we are doing. We are making micro-fiber lined, 100% wool hats and gloves for a donation from $30, possibly including shipping. Today was the first day for the training. I guess that's why I'm all excited about it. Things move incredibly slow in Nepal and now it’s like the floodgates have opened.
We have a volunteer coming later this month who has experience in women’s workshop initiatives. She’ll be taking the lead and using her talents for the women in Changunarayan making pashmina scarves. We’ll be offering them at exceptional values to our sponsors. I am unable to use the business model many social initiatives use. They keep the women poor while getting an inflated price from their generous donors.
Our model is just the opposite. First, if you look at competitive products on the internet for hand-made, 100% wool hats you’ll find them for at least $45 plus shipping, but we are just starting up and really need sales. We can send you a hat and glove set for just $30 and we will be able to get the initiatives running with a break-even cash flow or maybe even earn a bit. We will be starting the women off with a normal salary they would get if they got a non-English speaking job in Kathmandu and would have to ride the bus for 3-4 hours per day. Now they can just walk up the hill to Star View Guest House. They have a room with a TV and box of DVDs for when they get beyond the beginner level. We also provide the women lunch and a home baked snack with their tea break. Next, we provide the women with a commission on each of their share of the sales so this should double their salary. The hours they need to work is just from 10 to 4 with lunch and tea breaks. I’m sure this is much better than ‘fair trade’ guidelines.
Other than selling the pashmina and wool hat/gloves as a fundraiser for our own needs, we have an unusual proposition for any of our readers who’d like to help us. We have a fundraiser for the hats/glove sets for Western countries' high school football teams, bands, orchestras or cheerleaders. We'd love to find a student who would like to earn a trip to Nepal after graduation. We can even put the money in a bank account at 9%. We would purchase the ticket from here and give the cash after the student arrives.
We’ll custom make your high school colors with the initials on each piece, 100% high quality wool over micro-fiber lining. The hat will be the ‘Mohawk’ style in your school’s official colors or choose from other styles. The gloves will have open fingers with a cover and button. When we get the pashmina workshop going we can add a monogrammed scarf to complete the set. We can sell these in lots of 100 for a 50% split on retail of $60 without pashmina scarf. We ask 20% deposit with the balance 60 days after delivery, via Paypal invoice. This is not only an excellent value price-wise, but something that is in high demand for sports fans. If you have connections to a high school club or sports team please let us know. Let us know your ideas and suggestions, as well.
We also had an awesome guest stay at Star View and sent us start-up money for a Mt. Bike Rental concession for the village. We’ll had the bikes delivered already and they are quite nice. Actually, Rupak and his friends rode them from Kathmandu for us. I offered them lunch for their kindness. I know they love to go on rides and would do it for free, but still, we appreciate it.
|Here the bikes are.|
So, as we were working on the how’s of the project Anoj came by and wants to take the mt. bike concession as a ‘Tourist Information Desk.’ Anoj is a very kind villager whom I know I can trust with tourists to be honest and sincere and who doesn’t drink. We can do a lot of things for the village with 7-8 Mt. Bikes and an information center to help tourists stay in Changunarayan longer. We are so grateful to Parel, our donor for making this happen.
I’d like to thank everyone for your support, whatever it may be. Please follow along with us and help us by sharing our message, buy a hat and glove set, or click on one of our affiliate sites for original thangka paintings and hand-carved masks, travel insurance, etc. Seriously, the links aren’t even up yet, but I just wanted to share our plans. Nothing moved for 3 years and now everything is coming together.
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