Seven Women Cooperative
Our day began back on the bus by 9am with a stop at the Seven Women’s operation just 15 minutes from our hotel.
Stephanie Woollard (an Australian) began Seven Women at age 22 after meeting seven disabled women working in a tin shed in Kathmandu. These seven women were struggling to make a living in the face of harsh discrimination. With her last $200, Steph paid for a trainer to teach the women how to produce products for sale locally and abroad – and Seven Women was born.
Since 2006, Steph has built up the Seven Women team and launched an Australian arm for fundraising and a sales channel for our ever growing operation in Nepal. 12 years after her meeting in a tin shed that started it all, thousands of women and children have been educated, trained and employed by Seven Women.
Today we had the opportunity to attend one of their group cooking classes, a popular fundraiser. Such a great day and better still because we enjoyed lunch at the end. Intrepid is a strong supporter of Seven Women and another reason to travel with them.
We finished our time here with a visit to their store and many of us left with some lovely new clothing and accessories made by the amazing women trained here. Check out Anne’s new silk PJs!
Back in the bus we headed down the Kathmandu Valley to the old city of Bhaktapur. This area was once the main supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables for Kathmandu but a combination of population growth and a loss of agricultural land to development has taken its toll in recent years. Climbing the steps by the Basantapur Palace, we entered Durbar Square.
In the earthquake of 2015, this area was hit hard with reports of over 50% of homes being destroyed or badly damaged. Repairing and rebuilding continues with some stricter new rules on building code. The large temple bell that resided on the top of the palace was a casualty of the earthquake. It currently sits on the ground waiting for repair.
We wandered narrow streets filled with tourists and small shops that opened out to the temples and architecture of Dattatrava and Taumasdi Square. A break on the steps of Siddhi Laxmi opened and our group jumped at the opportunity for a group photo.
The area is known for its pottery and Pottery Square doesn’t disappoint. The central square is filled with sun drying pottery lined up and waiting its turn to be fired in the community kilns.
After boarding the bus again we continued on to Nagarkot and our hotel for the night. Leaving Bhatkapur we began climbing towards the mountains through more rural areas with lush, green fields of rice waiting for harvest. Our destination was a hotel perched high on a ridge with a fabulous ‘view opportunity’ of the Himalayas. As we climbed the rain settled in and our hopes to see these mountains tonight wouldn’t be met. There’s always tomorrow morning at sunrise to try again.