Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Friday Feminism - going global

I guess I'm starting big by encouraging you to think global, but it's a timely thing (and yes, I know it's not technically Friday- let's call this a special edition). My cousin, Sarah Taylor, has worked for days, weeks, months and years at this amazing project of hers, White Circles. She has put the project out to crowdfunding (that's you, me, and everyone else) to ensure its continued development and success, and there are 10 days left for her to hit her goal.

Sarah has been working to help women in the village of Nangi in Nepal. White Circles is in partnership with the Nangi women's group to ensure support and development of a trade of their own, namely papermaking. This becomes a source of income in the community which has an immediate and noticeable impact for the people of Nangi Village. The money raised is helping with support for the local higher secondary school- it pays teacher's wages. Also, this income is helping to build an ecotourism lodge, which offers the possbility of more income.

Why is this a Feminist issue? A number of reasons.

1) The obvious benefits of education through a school which is put together by Nepali people themselves ensures bright futures for young minds who deserve to be nourished, in a way that is in keeping with their culture and way of life. Feminism aims to support people bettering themselves on their terms, offering knowledge and equality on a level that is respectful of the individual.

2) The nourishing input of women into their community has been a fact of life for countless time, but it is also a form of input that is unpaid or unrecognised, as a simple expectation. A project that encourages and builds upon the input of these women gives them a certain recognition of their value. Teaching these women skills that can be re-taught, skills that become part of their lives, affects real change to each pair of hands used in the teaching, and the making. Sarah observes that in working with these women, she can see a ripple effect, where these women have their children, family and community firmly at the forefront of their minds. As a result, this input has undeniable impact in a great many lives. Community building and connectivity are enabling forces which can grow and support these women, their families, their village, their country.

3) The vision of this project implicitly values creativity, which is often associated with women and therefore given less value. Creating something that is received and appreciated on a global level (their products are sold in Australia right up to corporate level) carries a value far beyond dollars and cents.

4) The product itself is the paper; it is made from the Lotka, a plant which can be sustainably harvested every two years without depleting the resource. Feminism sees sustainability as an alternate way to live on the earth that doesn't over-use all the resources; it is a way forward that does not value destruction and depletion, offers up a respectful and balanced relationship with our natural environment, and is really our only option if we want to keep living on our planet!

Giving money to this project offers this amazing, selfless, driven person (yep, that's you, Sarah) not only the chance to continue her work, but to expand and offer this model up to neighbouring villages. In our world, offering up a few dollars translates as so much more to a small village in Nepal.

Not only would you be doing a good thing for the women of a third world country with your donation, you would be sending Sarah herself a message that we see all she is doing, as a young woman, and that we value her and her work, and her incredible energy. That we believe in her.

And I think that's what Feminism is all about.



Helpful links:

Crowdfund through StartSomeGood - choose your reward from anywhere between $6 and $460. Crowdfunding means that until the tipping goal is reached at the end of the fundraising period, the money doesn't come out of your account. Your donation actually depends on Sarah's success with this crowdfunding goal - so brag about it to your friends and family once you've pledged your financial support!

White Circles website - for all details great and small on White Circles.

For the Love of Nepal - Sarah's blog, which offers some wonderful personal insight on her journey into developing this project, as well as some great photos and information.




The intention of this is to support the community and most importantly, it's higher secondary school. In the last 3 years we have trained and employed more than 15 women. We have generated enough funding in Nangi Village to account for the teacher's wages and helped in the building of an eco tourism lodge. - See more at: http://startsomegood.com/Venture/white_circles_global_trading/Campaigns/Show/continued_support_for_nepali_women_and_education#sthash.UPqD9Doq.dpuf
The intention of this is to support the community and most importantly, it's higher secondary school. In the last 3 years we have trained and employed more than 15 women. We have generated enough funding in Nangi Village to account for the teacher's wages and helped in the building of an eco tourism lodge. - See more at: http://startsomegood.com/Venture/white_circles_global_trading/Campaigns/Show/continued_support_for_nepali_women_and_education#sthash.UPqD9Doq.dpuf
The intention of this is to support the community and most importantly, it's higher secondary school. In the last 3 years we have trained and employed more than 15 women. We have generated enough funding in Nangi Village to account for the teacher's wages and helped in the building of an eco tourism lodge. - See more at: http://startsomegood.com/Venture/white_circles_global_trading/Campaigns/Show/continued_support_for_nepali_women_and_education#sthash.UPqD9Doq.dpuf

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