Rogpa's Eco Friendly day
After a week of rain leading up to the festival, we were blessed with hot sun all day and attracted Tibetans from all over town, as well as dozens of people from the international community! At this year's Annual Rogpa Festival, as well as the usual games, music, and community fun, we also focused on promoting environmental education. The Tibetan people have a historically strong bond with nature, but due to the changes in modern times, and in the lives of Tibetans, care for the environment has decreased. Through craft projects, recycling and clothes swapping, and a documentary film show, we attempted to raise awareness and increase community educatino about the importance of recycling, reusing, and reducing, in order to preserve our beautiful environment.
We sold flowers planted in used plastic water bottles, to show how simply we can re-use waste materials and nurture the environment at the same time! An ingenious water bottle greenhouse was constructed by volunteers to demonstrate a low-cost way of increasing crop production, a scheme that is well established in the Andes Mountains in South America. They share the same problem of excess plastic bottles in Argentina and Chile and because of the strong sun at high altitudes; greenhouses in both the Andes and Himalayas could really prove beneficial for farmers. Another project involved showing children how to bind recycled paper books and make jewellery using recycled materials.
Supporting Tibetan children football team
We have been continued solidarity with the community. As part of that project, we are supporting the local school's tibetan children football team.
Women's Craft Centre
The Women's Craft Centre opened up in April of 2008 with a goal to provide economic empowerment for low income Tibetan women who have few opportunities of education and employment. We achieve this by helping to develop various skills in tailoring, sewing, design and handicrafts. Also, with the help of a long term volunteer, we have established the re-stitch project within the WCC 2011 that encourages eco friendly products while also benefiting the environment.
- Re-Stitch encourages the use of old materials (newspaper, beads, string etc) to make new items like jewelry, coasters and stands for hotpots. This promotes the process of recycling but also being eco friendly at the same time.
- At the WCC our ladies receive fair wages, good working conditions, free child care at the BCC, plus important social support from each other.
- All of the women take part in a two years training course to learn new skills. We train around 4-5 women at one time.
- After the training the women are free to work from where they please and is their choice if they want to keep working for Rogpa.
- We usually have 10-20 local entrepreneurs at a time that have gone through the training employed by Rogpa.
- We are constantly developing links with overseas organizations and are in the position to supply bulk orders.
Information for Volunteers
- The Women's Craft Centre is looking for people with skills in handcrafts and design as well as persons with a professional background in sales and marketing for the international community to broaden our retail capacity.
- Availability and times for volunteering at the WCC may vary depending on the time of the year.
The quality of the work environment and the working relationships between our staff are very important to us at the Women's Craft Centre. In our craft centre all of the staff is very sincere and dedicated to their work. We produce many beautiful items and we consider the quality of our products above all else. Currently, we are making cooking aprons, computer bags, cell phone carrying cases and many new and attractive designs for women's hand bags. All the staff is very friendly and respectful towards one another, which creates a pleasant atmosphere for doing good work and the feeling that the Women's Craft Centre is their home.
Currently the women create handbags, cell phone cases, aprons and many other things made with love and care. New designs and skills in handcrafts, design and sewing for the WCC would help the women create new products with hopes of selling and expanding their knowledge in a creative way to make living.