Suryamukhi Handicrafts is an income generating program of CHILDREN-Nepal, a non-profit and non-governmental social organization working for the rights, welfare and development of marginalized and economically disadvantaged children and their families in Nepal.

Since 1999, Suryamukhi Handicrafts has been striving to empower disadvantaged and low-income women living in the Pokhara Valley. By way of developing their handicraft skills, the craftswomen have an opportunity to earn a livelihood, become self-reliant and improve their living conditions. The women's families are also supported thru the social programs and resources of CHILDREN-Nepal.

Since 2003, CHILDREN-Nepal that runs Suryamukhi Handicrafts has been a registered member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and Fair Trade Group Nepal (FTGN). WFTO and FTGN are networks that provide Suryamukhi Handicrafts with a platform for important trade connections all over the world, social support and resources for producers and a strong voice for Fair Trade practices. Today, seventy percent of our products are exported to Europe and the United States.

Why We Do it

Women in Nepal face many hardships. They are often treated as second class citizens and denied their human rights. Women must work harder than men and have the "double burden" of working at home and at their job. Despite their many responsibilities, they are often denied basic education and nutrition. Many parents view girls as "someone else's property" because they will marry and leave the family. They see no point in investing in their daughter's future. Many women in Nepal find themselves uneducated, unskilled, burdened with work, in abusive relationships and with no hope for their future. The aim of Suryamukhi Handicrafts is to change this situation by creating better lives for the women and their families.

The women coming to work at Suryamukhi Handicrafts face daily challenges because of their socially and economically disadvantaged lives. Some live in small rented rooms in the slum areas of Pokhara. Suryamukhi Handicrafts recognizes these problems and improves their situation. At Suryamukhi Handicrafts, the women work together in a supportive atmosphere that builds their self-confidence. They earn fair wages and have economic security. Their physical security, health and nutrition are likewise improved. The women's children may also access CHILDREN-Nepal's social programs, activities and resources.

Suryamukhi Handicrafts began on a very small scale, with only six women and a very small work space. Today, our operations command an entire floor at the CHILDREN-Nepal premises, complete with a workshop, cutting facility, office, storage room, design studio and sales room. We currently employ 18 women, but we have worked with almost 300 women since our inception. We believe that employment with Suryamukhi Handicrafts changes many lives for the better.