Himalayan Jewellery: Empowering Disadvantaged Women in Nepal

 

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Himalayan Jewellery (HJ) is a socially responsible company specializing in handcrafted jewelry that reflects the life, beauty and struggle of the Nepali people. Each piece is created by skilled jewelers who are deaf and mute, or survivors of human trafficking.

Therapy and training began four years ago in a workshop in Kathmandu to teach them a trade which would give them independence, confidence, dignity and the ability to take charge of their derailed lives. Many of the jewelers had been sold into trafficking at a young age by their families who were too impoverished to support them. A number of these survivors had run away from home and voluntarily entered slavery because, as children in a poverty stricken household, options were limited.

At Sano Paila, we encourage visual arts as a form of therapy for traumatized and abused children, and young people. We have dedicated the past years to helping the workers evolve into artists via education and skills training to create beautiful jewelry that can be marketed both domestically and internationally.

Nira's Story
Nira (not her real name) was nine years old when her friend’s father lured her to join a circus in India promising a better and glamorous life. But the next five years proved to be a nightmare which she wants to forget.

Sold to a circus company in India by human traffickers, she was forced to train for long hours and was beaten and abused. Nira risked her life performing various tricks. Many in the audiences she entertained were children like her. Her suffering ended when she was rescued and brought home in Nepal.

Nira recalls,

We were forced to work for different circus companies in India without pay. It was difficult. It was like a prison and I thought of running away from that circus on many occasions. Luckily, I was saved.

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Now 21, Nira is an artist with Himalayan Jewellery, taking charge of her derailed life. Lively and confident, she enjoys dancing and listening to music. Nira considers volleyball the best sport but enjoys playing badminton as well. Among the many things she absolutely “adores” is Nepali movies. The main reason she likes watching Nepali movies is the current big Nepali movie star- Aryan Sigdel.

Sano Paila has dedicated the past years to rescuing children and young people from exploitative and abusive conditions, reintegrating them and helping them to evolve into artists via education and skills training to create beautiful jewelry that can be marketed both domestically and internationally.

Himalayan Jewellery has been in operation since 2011, which allows artists the skills to produce a beautiful product and the knowledge and experience to predict what will sell on the market. All of the artists have been trained in house by internationally renowned jewelers. They have learned specific skills in order to use the tools supplied in the workshop to make a number of unique jewelry styles.

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Their product also comes with a dedication to the betterment of humanity behind it. 

The twelve women and one man involved in the business have overcome many obstacles to get where they are. The 10 survivors of human trafficking and 3 deaf/mute artists have had more than their fair share of hardships and have found the courage to change their lives for the better.

Through the jewelry business, they are provided an opportunity to support themselves, shed some light on human trafficking, put real stories and faces to the issue. Sano Paila seeks to create social ventures for such members of the society whom if provided with good options can chart a very different course in their lives.

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