Rajan Thapa

Carrying a few months old baby in one arm and using another hand to make paper crafts is not an easy task. But the same act we can see that happening in the Guheswari Training centre, run by CWIN Nepal. The girls and women participating in the handicraft training are so eager to attain the goal of doing something better in this artistic handicraft field. CWIN Nepal has been providing handicraft training for former street girls and women for about six months as a part of economic empowerment. The main aim of the program is to empower young girls with alternatives to income generation and making them aware of their rights. This program also intends to decrease the risk of such young girls being used for commercial sexual exploitation.

The word handicraft implies all the works performed through hands like metal crafts, clay works, bamboo works, etc. At the training centre, we have been conducting training on paper crafts to date. The workload is being increased as the teaching process is shifting from basic to advanced level. Although shifting of the training centre to a new building decreased the pace of teaching and learning process, the participants from around Guheswari area are increasing day by day.

" Initially we thought we were just cutting and pasting papers, but we learned something new every day and now we can design products on our own". This is the main words spoken by every participant in the handicraft training. With time, they have been able to produce the best photo frames, mirror frames, hats, diaries and many more. Recently, we have just completed teaching the processes to make mirror frames, and diaries. We have been conducting this training for 5 months and now the moment has come to cherish. They are so eager to make, and the products obtained are so perfect

The training has moved into an advanced level where the participants are in a verge of being professionals in using the skills they learned and cutting the cardboard paper in a proper geometric shape is not an easy task and has risks using the paper cutter. We have 9 participants who have been regularly attending the training and are up to date with the new crafts making, too. They have made over 19 sets of hanging photo frames, 63 pieces of paper baskets, 28 pieces of mirrors, 11 pieces of diaries and lots of earrings within the period of 3 months.

We are proud to mention the success of the girls and women in papercrafts making. Now, the young girls have become masters of the art of paper handicrafts. They come up with new designs and ideas to create new innovative products.