Our story

The Women’s Skills Development Organization (WSDO) is a Fair Trade organization. We have been working since 1975 as a non-profit organization and income-generating program for economically disadvantaged, disabled, abused, widowed, divorced, single and outcast women from rural Nepal. We were officially registered in the District Administration Office (Kaski) in 1994.

After arriving at WSDO, the women are provided training on material cutting, sewing, weaving, dyeing, business management and various other skills relevant for handicraft production. Every year WSDO gives performance rewards to one woman in each department who has excelled in both the quality and quantity of her work. There is also a cooperative saving and credit program, where the women can save money for the future and can obtain a loan with nominal interest. For the senior teachers, WSDO has a savings program where they can deposit 10% of their monthly earnings in an interest-bearing account. WSDO also provides its workers with a clothing allowance, 60 days paid maternity leave, emergency allowance, free health checkups, education on social issues and the environment, English language training, educational excursions and education scholarships for children.

At WSDO, we ensure that our production processes minimize environmental impact by using local raw materials, 100% cotton and eco-friendly dyes. We make a wide range of handmade bags, toys, cases, purses, footwear and kitchen and household accessories and we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products and service. We are considered the best handicraft organization in Pokhara and an example of a successful local NGO in Nepal, running for over 40 years without any local or international donations. Today, more than 80% of our products are exported to the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, the United States, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

With free vocational skills training and the tools to plan for the future, hundreds of women at WSDO have benefited from this inspiring and empowering program. And, thousands of people around the world have enjoyed our handwoven and handmade products. As we continue to provide the finest quality handmade products that reflect Nepalese tradition, we hope that you may also enjoy our beautiful craft.

The following film was created in November 2014 at our previous location, but our ethos and methods remain the same. We hope you enjoy this introduction to our organization.