Exploring beautifully made items that provide work and hope to young women.
I really enjoy working here at Danfe Nepal. I have gotten a wonderful opportunity here and I am very happy about it, as I am able to utilize my skill for something useful. Coming to Kathmandu from my far away home town of Morang and being able to work in an organization like SAATH makes me feel very proud,” says Sabita Chaudhary, as she stitches clothes along with several other female workers at Danfe.
What is Danfe?
Danfe is an admirable livelihood and entrepreneurship program started by an organization called SAATH, which employs girls who have been affected by the earthquake.
Danfe started with 30 girls from earthquake-affected areas, such as Sindhupalchok, Makwanpur, and Kavre. These districts are notorious for girl trafficking in huge numbers. The objective of this project is to help vulnerable girls who are likely to be trafficked, and help channel their skills and capabilities to creativity, as well as employment.
The program enrolls girls who have been affected by the earthquake and provides employment opportunities to them to make them more independent, besides securing their livelihood. It has been providing these girls with a platform to enhance their tailoring skills. The produced goods will be sold in the local and international markets to raise funds to support these girls’ education.
The revenue earned by selling products made by the previous batch is used to train girls from the next batch. And, now in 2017, Danfe is giving training to 29 girls. After getting tailoring training they are also given employment opportunities at Danfe. Just like Sabita, there are other female workers from different districts who have been getting training and an opportunity to work. This makes them empowered. In the long run, the aim is to make the venture self sustainable.
Support and Togetherness
In Nepali, SAATH means “Support” and “Togetherness” and they truly stand for their name. The idea of SAATH started when eleven students with educational background in social work started a small project back in 2004 to support women and children living with HIV and AIDS. The success of the project motivated these students to continue working for social change, and they continued to work in different fields as a volunteer-based organization.
From 2012, SAATH took the next step. They then decided to direct their focus on education, socialization, capacity building, and livelihood of girls and children who belong to marginalized communities. In addition, their approach of working also includes creating awareness and advocacy through different projects and activities.
Clothing line by Danfe
We have said a lot here about the people who are making the clothes, but we can’t neglect to talk about the clothing line by Danfe. At the moment, it has been focusing mainly on ladies wear. At the start, they also made clothes for kids and made t-shirts and hoodies for men’s wear, too. But currently, the main focus of Danfe is on ladies’ clothing, such as street wear, casual wear, and party wear. Besides the variety of clothes sold in the store, they will also make clothes according to designs as requested by their customers.
An important point is that the objective of Danfe is to make customers buy their clothes because of the quality and not just buy it as a charity cause. This shouldn’t be too hard, as from what we can see, they are a brand that produces a great standard of clothes at reasonable price.
As you enter their shop, you can see a collection of beautiful clothes. The bright, colorful prints and unusual designs are definitely eye-catching. There are wonderful designs of kurtis that women of all ages will love. You will find cotton kurtis, printed kurtis, and floral kurtis at really very affordable prices, compared to a lot of other places. There are casual dresses, shirts, and skirts that look very comfy, as well as cotton floral t-shirts and dresses; the very popular shirt dress that’s perfect for summer, and which will make you look stylish while feeling really comfortable. They also sell great kimono-style pieces, which are perfect for either lounging around the house, or layering over clothes for that fashionable look.
Bags of all sorts
Something else that is appealing here is the number of different kinds of bags that are for sale. In addition to colorful handbags and purses made from locally woven fabrics, there are also bags for toiletries and a fun selection of printed tote bags. These lovely, sturdy bags have cute images and wise sayings printed on them, and are perfect for carrying your things around town, or for shopping. They also make great little gifts!
The shop is located at Arun Thapa Chowk in Sanepa. It’s a place where you’re sure to find hand-made quality products and, “get local and go local!”