Wendy was a moving force behind the 2006 launch of the Samunnat project for abused women in Nepal. She was skeptical about the logistics of the project, but a vendor requested that she teach what she was wearing so she jumped in.
Three Samunnat ladies were due to fly from Kathmandu to Detroit in October for a US tour. This week Ron Lehocky and I learned that the US denied their visa applications. There is no appeals process.
Bummer! Or as they say in Nepal “Ke Garne” That’s a resigned, “What can you do?”
We imagined angels Gita, Pramila, and Kopila with their bags all packed.
“We knew it was a possibility that they wouldn’t get the visas but I guess we let ourselves feel hopeful. It all comes down to convincing the interviewer that you have adequate ties in Nepal to make sure you return,” says founder and organizer Wendy Moore from Australia.
Thanks to all you polymer folks who so graciously offered your help and hospitality. The funds raised for travel will be redirected to other projects. Samunnat is now in its eleventh year. Please follow them on Instagram and on their blog to track their progress.
Our apologies to our would-be visitors. Let’s hope the world becomes more welcoming in the future. For now, “Ke Garne.”
We love to search Artful Home from time to time to see if polymer is on target and selling in the trendy online places. Louise Fischer Cozzi’s target earrings are light and balanced. Look over her full line and be sure to note all her clever connections.
We want to stay on target for fundraising for the Namaste Tour too. Hop on over to the angels in the right column and donate in any amount. Ron Lehocky has a supply of Samunnat angels ready to fly off to your home. Contact him at email@example.com
Becoming an Instagram follower of SammunatNepal is another way to show them you’re watching and supportive. Thank you!
A flock of angels will flutter through PCD this spring as we raise travel funds for the 3 Samunnat women who will visit the US in October for training and market development.
Gita, Pramila, and Kopila are anxious to meet face to face with those who have supported them and watched the Nepal project grow for 11 years!
The angels are elegantly draped in repurposed sari silks. Each artist has given her celestial creation a personality, tucked a special message for you under the bodice, and folded it into a gift bag.
Each costs $50 and will be mailed free in the continental US. Ron Lehocky is spearheading the effort. Make your checks out to Ron Lehocky. Mail to: 1763 Casselberry Rd, Louisville, KY 40205. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to support Samunnat in other ways, you can click on the Paypal donate button next to the angels in the right column on PCD and make a donation in any amount. The ladies share their excitement on Instagram. Learn about Samunnat in a nutshell here.
I’ll be escorting the visitors and will talk about our plans, ask for your suggestions and help in upcoming posts. With your help, we can do this!
If you’ve followed PCDaily for long, you’ll know that we have a special affection for Nepal and the ladies of the Samunnat project in Birtamod. Wendy Moore is there now, visiting and planning for the future which was surely shaken by Saturday’s earthquake. (She created these polymer sculptures.)
While Birtamod is 250 miles east of Kathmandu, the quake was definitely felt. The building that the polymer community helped fund still stands tall. Open fields around the building give the ladies a place to run to during continuing aftershocks. The country and many, many Nepalis are in great distress.
You’ll feel like you’re there as you follow Wendy’s first-hand accounts of this disaster on their Facebook page and blog. Your comments and thoughts are very meaningful to them. Please like and comment. It’s quite amazing to see how connected we are to our sisters a world away.
The donation button on their blog says Raise the Roof should you wish to help them. You can buy individual polymer beads at KazuriWest, their US distributor.
Because their Etsy shopkeeper (Wendy) is not at home in Australia, their finished jewelry is not available until she returns. For disaster relief, Wendy suggests giving to reputable organizations like the Red Cross. If you want a delightful snapshot of Nepali life, take some time to look through her After the Monsoon blog. Namaste.
Thanks to you, the Samunnat Raise the Roof project is building a second story for our Nepalese sisters! Since donations have come from around the world, it takes a while to transfer funds and reconcile currencies. Not to mention that PayPal decided to closely scrutinize the Nepal/Australia account that was suddenly receiving funds. That caused delay in the final tabulation (over $10,000).
But all is well. The builder has been given the go-ahead and the blocks and cement are on their way. You have provided a secure and safe base for Samunnat to flourish. In this 2-minute video, several of the women talk about themselves and express their gratitude as project administrator Kopila Basnet translates.
PCD readers have been clamoring for information about the mysteries of translucent clay. Missouri’s Ginger Davis Allman took the challenge and has written a crystal clear comparison of clays from different manufacturers, in varying thicknesses, and baked at different temperatures (go to the bottom of her page for that revelation).
She uncovers a few surprises and gives several helpful tips. It’s a must read and we’re indebted to Ginger for her research. Ginger’s entire site is a good read too – well written, pleasantly organized and a nice place to spend some time. A shout out to Christine Dumont who first passed the link along.
Valentines Day in Nepal
Valentines Day is becoming popular in Nepal and for the ladies in the Samunnat project, the holiday has taken on a special significance that Wendy explains in her post.
The ladies and the Board are daring to dream as the possibility of a facility for Samunnat becomes a reality – thanks to your donations. CLICK to donate.
Can they include a small shopfront to sell their pickles and incense? Could they make space for a little beauty parlour? It’s a big business in the area. Understand that are no botox treatments in Nepali salons! Only henna coloring and eyebrow threading. Here I am getting a lovely mustard oil massage in Kopila’s home! They slathered me in oil from head to toe and let me marinate until morning. The mustard is grown and processed locally.
“You have no idea what your donations mean to us,” says Kopila, “We realise that we are not doing this on our own; we are connected to people who love and care and encourage and support us, and we have new reserves of energy and courage to keep going. Dherai Dhanyabad!”