In October we supported the registration of a new social enterprise in Nepal, Lily’s Leaves, that is offering training and employment to vulnerable girls and women.

We are very pleased to be about to resume our important tailoring and silver training through a new social enterprise called Lily’s Leaves that was registered in Nepal last month. Lily’s Leaves is the initiative of former ChoraChori-N (CC-N) employee Lily Katuwal and her equally dynamic colleague, clinical psychologist  Hashana Shrestha who  had provided counselling services to CC-N beneficiaries.  The wonderful thing about Lily’s Leaves is that it will not only provide training but jobs to vulnerable women in both Kathmandu valley and in Province 2, southeast Nepal. In Province 2 Lily’s Leaves will be working alongside our existing partner The Mithila Wildlife Trust while building a network with other NGOs that provide support services to abused girls and women, including rape victims. Hashana will be able to provide mental health support services to these NGOs and to individuals as the need arises, supported by our partner Unity In Health.

The name Lily’s Leaves arose originally out of the wish to focus on forest products, e.g. making disposable plates from leaves and using natural fibres to produce woven products and cloth. But Lily and Hashana will be considering a wide range of possibilities, including essential oils and bee products. They will be researching these options and networking opportunities through field visits to south Nepal over a three-month period from November. But before then, they will be setting up their workshop and girls’ hostel in Kathmandu valley (premises already identified!) so that there will be no break in training in both tailoring and jewellery. Both of the former CC-N lead trainers in these activities will be joining Lily’s Leaves.

Already, British silversmith Felicity Denby, introduced to us by our U.S. partner Her Future Coalition, is working on new jewellery designs for 2021. And this week we were very pleased to receive our first fashion design inputs for the tailoring activity from Brenda Sheil and Molly Board of UK charity Fashion with Heart Creations.  Brenda has a wealth of experience within the region, including setting up a tailoring production centre in Bangalore called Jacob’s Well. Brenda and Molly are excited to do the same for Lily and Hashana in Kathmandu.

ChoraChori will be providing start-up funding and core support for the first three years and until Lily’s Leaves can become self-sustaining. We look forward to offering Lily’s Leaves products to our supporters in 2021 and wish these two inspirational women every success in their new venture. You can support Lily’s Leaves through our Christmas wish list using the button below: