IDS recently received a quarterly report from the Himalayan Education Foundation (HEF) about the progress of the Himalayan Naari project. A HEF affiliate, Himalayan Naari is a women’s self-help group based in the villages of Chaukori and Munsiyari in Uttarakhand. Its mission is the empowerment of women. Through projects such as knitted and woven wool products, over 100 talented artisans are turning their traditional skills into a sustainable business.
Other highlights from the first quarter
1. Two local coordinators were hired in March 2016 to lead the project (with support from HEF and funding from IDS).
2. Retail sales of Himalayan Naari products have increased; the products are now being carried by two new high-end stores in Keene, NH and Providence, RI.
3. HN has been selected as the “featured” artisan project for the 2016 holiday season by Shared Trade, an online retailer specializing in the work of marginalized women. The Naari artisans are working on large knitting and weaving orders to be shipped directly to the vendor.
4. HEF has identified an Indian partner to begin market exploration in India. She is currently interviewing and photographing the artisans in order to familiarize herself with the project and to develop marketing materials.