What makes us special

Women’s Skills Development Organization (WSDO) differs in many respects from other manufacturers. Although we produce a wide range of handmade products of highest quality, we are a non-profit Fair Trade organization, with the goal to empower disadvantaged women in any way. The women of WSDO are not only regarded as employees, but rather as family.

In this way, we not only employ the women to be able to earn their livelihoods, but also:

  • Comply with the principles and practices of the World Fair Trade Organization 
  • Ensure our women can manage both family commitments and employment by requiring no production quotas, instead paying them per item, working on a flexible hour basis, according homework and providing a child care centre
  • Provide them with annual health check-ups and arrange health and hygiene awareness camps for our members and their families
  • Enable continuing education opportunities by involving WSDO teachers and staff in national and international trainings as well as providing various types of refresher courses to our established workers, ensuring participation in handicraft fashion-show programs, and both national and international exhibitions and providing English language training when possible
  • Provide 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 the women can deposit 10% of their monthly earnings in an interest-bearing account
  • Recognize the women’s work by awarding cash prizes for the best worker, providing clothing allowance, 60 days paid maternity leave, and emergency allowance
  • Organize educational tours to cultural sites and organizations, historical places, and handicraft and industrial development activities outside of Pokhara
  • Take care of our members’ children by offering scholarships (50 in 2016) between Rs 1000 to Rs 7000 depending on the family’s financial situation and awarding cash prizes for best-in-class or best-in-studies

We also care about our supply chain members, and

  • Try to use Fair Trade products as raw material
  • Cooperate with non-Fair Trade suppliers who are from disadvantaged and economically challenged backgrounds

Moreover, we care about environment, and

  • Minimize environmental impact by using local raw materials (cotton and allo wool) and Azo-free dyes