By Emiko Perea
In districts across Nepal, dozens of women gathered in a warmly lit room, eager to learn how to make liquid and bar soap. The art of soap-making might seem like a trivial skill to learn, but for these women, it was the means of transforming their very lives and enhancing their ability to serve as leaders in their homes and communities. The women’s division of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nepal in partnership with Arpand Shanti Kaski Nepal trained women in skills necessary to heighten their lifestyle as independent entrepreneurs. From January 2018 through June 2019, Global Peace Women (GPW) Nepal held programs not just on soap-making, but also provided workshops on literacy and entrepreneurship in Kathamandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Chitawan, Pokhara, Dhading and Kavre Districts.
The programs are designed to raise the women up as pillars of their families that spread peace from their homes out into their communities. Susmit Sunuwar, a GPW program facilitator, encouraged a culture of service and peace-building for the women to share to their homes and communities. "I'm really thankful to GPF,” said Juna Chhetri, a participant in the Soap Making Training. “This training not only teaches us to make soap but also...how to do business with little (financial) investment. Further on, I am planning to share this knowledge with other women in my village."
The training in literacy inspired the participants to use their new skills to enhance their lives. Mrs. Reshma Budathoki, a participant in the soap-making program in Tikathali expressed her positive experience in the program saying, "It's a great opportunity for us to be skillful. Through the Soap Making Training, I personally learned to make both the hard and liquid soap which is going to be very beneficial for me as it has multiple uses in our daily life. I'm looking forward to starting my own business by making and selling Soaps. I'm very thankful to the organizers and all the trainers who provided an opportunity for me to learn the skills for income generation.”
Laxmi Adhikari, Head of Arpand Shanti Kaski Nepal, expressed her gratitude to the women in Nepal for making the training a success. She said, “This training seemed very fruitful to women participants and I am looking forward to working further with the team in upcoming days as well."
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