Small micro medium enterprise business women of Nepal are empowering other women at the Shanti Sewa Ashram.
A group of Business Women coordinated by Mrs Sarju Baba Shrestha , have committed to helping the most needy women with small loans in their community. The Shanti Sewa Ashram, Peace Service Centre, Kathmandu Nepal, has developed programs that women can participate in such as literacy and numeracy classes, learning about finance, marketing and business management.
With these small loans they can purchase material for designing and sewing garments, buy wax for candle making and purchase vegetables to cook foods to sell at the markets such as relish, chutneys and soups.
The loans are repaid and the women are able to become self sufficient and grow their business, whilst helping other women learn new skills to start a similar business.
This SMME program is significant because the Nepalese business women have developed their own funding source from their small businesses and fund this program themselves.
The women are empowered through education and given spiritual support, they celebrate regularly with Satsang (chanting) on special holy days in the Hindu/Buddhist culture and invite other communities to embrace diversity with them.
I believe the journey out of poverty is through education
( Joan O’Connor )