Meet the Artisans of the Nepal Girls Care Center
Nepal Girls Care Center (NGCC) was established in 1996 as a social organisation to help teenage orphan girls become established in society after leaving the protective environment of Bal Mandir Orphanage. Since its inception, the NGCC has supported 95 girls. In 1998, the NGCC started operating a handicraft based Production Center in New Baneshwor as one of its projects for the needy and interested girls supported through the organisation. It is entirely a woman-managed project, whose target group, employees and beneficiaries are solely ex-Bal Mandir girls.
The NGCC was affiliated to Fair Trade Group (FTG) Nepal in October 2002. Ten regular producer staff work under the leadership of an experienced female manager, but part-time services are hired as and when needed. Fair wages are paid to all the artisans, and other facilities like Endowment Life Insurance with ADB (Accidental Double Benefits), sick leave, annual leave, provident fund, medical allowance, festival (Dashain) bonus, study leave, wedding leave and maternity leave are also provided.
The Production Center uses two ground floor flats in order to facilitate an appropriate working environment for the employees and to provide sufficient space. One flat also accommodates an office and a small showroom for its products.
Artisan Story - Arati Bhandari
I was born to a poor family in Biratnagar. My father passed away when I was very young. My widowed mother became helpless. She had to take care of all my siblings on her own. The poverty situation never improved. Consequently, my elder sister Gayatri and I were brought to Kathmandu by a local villager. In 1986, we were both admitted to Douglas Memorial Children's Home in Thamel. From there, we were transferred to Nepal Children's Organization (Bal Mandir), Naxal in 1989. During my Bal Mandir days, I went to study at Adarsha Secondary School in Sanothimi, Bhaktapur. In 1998, I completed my tenth grade from that school. Besides studying, I also learnt the art of knitting and sewing while at Bal Mandir.
I left Bal Mandir in 1998 to join the Nepal Girls Care Center (NGCC). At NGCC, I enjoyed receiving family care and learnt the importance of living together as one big family. I also benefited from NGCC's personality development projects, such as psychological counseling and home science. NGCC recognized my passion for music and kindly supported me to attend a year-long course in vocal training. Apart from that, I also participated in a two-month long Social Work Training at Life Development Centre in Sitapaila. Besides, I went to NGCC's Production Center every day to practice on the job training.
I am also very happy at the Production Center. I can comfortably handle all the jobs. I feel I am especially very good with sewing, but I equally like other jobs involving cards, teaching materials, knitting, etc. I always try to do justice to my work. I am happy with my colleagues, who are also my old friends from Bal Mandir to have benefited from the NGCC support JUST LIKE ME.