Women’s Skills Development Organization is considered the best handicraft organization in Pokhara and a successful local Nongovernmental Organization in Nepal, running for the last 40 years without any local or international donations.
The company was founded on the International Women’s Day in 1975 by a group of Nepalese women. When Ramkali Khadka joined the team two years later, the vision of empowering women materialized: derelict land in Srijauna Chauk was granted by the local municipality and so training in the traditional arts of sewing, cutting and knitting could be provided as well as educational courses and training in health care and consultancy to help abused women.
In 1994, the Women’s Skills Development Project (since 2010 Women’s Skills Development Organization) was formally registered and became a member of the Fair Trade Group Nepal. In 2002, the organization joined the IFAT (now WFTO), which greatly increased customer numbers.
Having started with an investment of Rs 10,000 and just three women working, the company grew significantly over the years and now employs over 500 women, making a total sale of over $350,000 in 2015. Today we export 80% of our goods, mostly to Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea, but also to Australia, Canada and the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK. Our employed women are economically disadvantaged, disabled, abused, widowed, divorced, single and outcast and are being trained to be independent at our organization. With free vocational skills training and the tools to plan for the future, hundreds of women at WSDO have benefited from our empowering program.