|Sanu Maya Thapa in front of land|
Meet Sanu Maya Thapa.
Behind her, you can see part of her land. She has seven kathas (or about 7/10s of an acre) where she wants to grow organic vegetable in partnership with the women in her village of Odera. She plans to call the cooperative "Three Angels Organic Farm" after her three daughters, the oldest of whom is attending college through a scholorship with WELNepal. Sanu Maya and her group took a 16-week organic vegetable training course four years ago. There, women from three different villages met once a week in the field and grew, with training through funding from WELNepal, a crop of vegetables that saw neither pesticide nor insect spray. Soon, Sanu Maya and her group will take a three-day refresher course through WELNepal and its partner organization Ecocentre and begin growing organic vegetables all year round. With the proper training, the women should have no trouble producing three crops of various vegetables a year. Because Sanu Maya is one of the area's most active women in the community, we feel that with her leadership and motivating skills, a successful project is almost certain.
|Sanu Maya in her home|
Another plus for Sanu Maya's group is the village of Odera is very close to some of the better lodges servicing tourists who come to visit Nepal's beautiful jungle in the Chitwan National Park. We're certain these lodges would see no reason not to pay a little more for organic produce when they can advertise "Some of the vegetables you are eating are grown organically by local women's groups" at their dining tables. Sanu's groups will now join 13 other women's groups, all organized and funded by WELNepal, in growing, eating,and selling organic vegetables. Since more and more Nepalis are becoming aware of the negative effects of commercial sprays, our women's groups will work with Ecocentre to create a large co-op through which organic vegetables will be sold at commercial outlets.
Good luck Sanu Maya!
P.S. If you want to learn more about day-to-day life in Nepal (and there's a lot about it that's guaranteed to make you smile as well as think), please follow us on Twitter @WELNepal (https://twitter.com/#!/WELNepal)