Our skilled and experienced Artisans are at the very heart of what we do. It is only because of their hard work and dedication to their job that Schalmauer is possible. These artisans – mainly women – are mostly disadvantaged, uneducated, and trying to sustain themselves and care for their families.
With every scarf you buy, you will be contributing towards improving the working and living conditions of these women, and providing them with opportunities to increase their skills. Based on the principle of “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, we want to empower these women and help to increase their future employability. An empowered woman will be able to contribute to the well-being of her family and to the development of society at large.
Here are the stories of 4 of the artisans who are working with us.
Dynamic, Extrovert, Confident
Kopila doesn’t recall when she came to Kathmandu from her native village, but it was a long time ago. She has been married to a grocery shop keeper for seven years, and has no children.
Kopila has been working in the factory for five years. Over the years, she gained a lot of experience in the scarf making process. She started in the weaving area, then moved to the mending section, and is currently working in quality control, which is the final stage of the process.
She never had the opportunity to go to school, and never learned to read or write. “I only know how to write my name”. Her dream, given the chance, would be to make some extra income to afford going to night school to improve her circumstances.
Introvert, Hesitant, Soft Spoken
Manisha moved to Kathmandu from her native village of Usputin seven years ago. She attended school until the age of 14, and got married at 16. Sadly, her husband left her many years ago and married someone else. Their nine-year-old daughter currently lives with him.
Manisha has been working in the factory for two years. After rotating through all areas of the production process, she is now in the Mending Section, which she found to be her favourite task. “I have many dreams. I want to be able to pay for my daughter’s education. I have not yet been able to achieve that yet”, says Manisha.
The situation with her husband and the separation from her daughter weigh heavily on her, leaving her feeling weak and unwell. Any extra income would go towards her daughter’s education and improving her well-being.
Quiet, Reserved, Wise
Meet Rama Ghimire (39) – means “Pleasing” in Sanskrit
Rama moved to Kathmandu from her village in the Sinduli District after getting married 10 years ago. Sadly, she barely sees her husband, who is currently serving in the army. Together, they have two daughters and one son, ranging in age from 5 to 9 years old. Rama is proud that all her children are attending school, since she left school when she was 16 years old.
“Unfortunately, I was young when I had to leave school. My dream is to provide my children with higher education. I know how important this is for their future”.On a personal level, Rama would like to improve her skills, in the hope that this may open up more work opportunities for her and ultimately improve her income.
Sweet, Fun-loving, Lively
Meet Swarti Adhikari (20) – named after the God of Starting.
Originally from the Nuakot District, Swarti left her village for Kathmandu three years ago, seeking a better life for herself. She is currently living with her sister, whose husband provides additional income for both through the little salary he sends home from working abroad.
Swarti has been at the factory for one year, after having graduated high school. She works in the dyeing section, where she measures the colours and dyes each scarf individually by hand – a very labor-intensive task which requires much patience and knowledge in mixing colours.
Swarti’s work at the factory goes beyond improving her income. “I am very proud of my work. If I can improve my skills, I dream of opening my own business and discovering new colours for pashmina scarves.”