UPDATE AS OF FRI 3/20/20: We are devastated to report that Nasreen and three other women from her shop are showing symptoms of COVID-19. These women do not have the luxury of self-isolation, as they live in one room with up to eight other family members - including their children, parents, and grandparents. We are desperately continuing to ask for your financial support and your help in raising awareness by sharing with family, friends, and on social media.
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a global pandemic, reaching more than 118 countries and affecting millions of people - including Nasreen Sheikh, a former child slave labor survivor turned social entrepreneur who cares daily for over 50 disadvantaged women coming from underserved communities.
She serves them by way of:
1. Her Nepali based store Local Women’s Handicrafts, which provides jobs for marginalized women in order for them to gain financial independence and;
2. Her Empowerment Collective, a 501(c)(3) she established in 2015 that provides a safe environment for women to receive education and skills training, healthcare and more.
At this time, due to COVID-19, tourism has decreased by 100% in the last month in Nepal, forcing the shop to temporarily CLOSE as of March 18, 2020. Their savings are depleted, and they are running extremely low on basic needs such as food and money to pay rent and utilities. This fragile infrastructure has created a dire situation, and these women need immediate financial support.
**PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS!**
HOW WE CAN HELP:
$3.00 buys a reusable natural dye mask for a woman to protect her face (handmade in Nepal)
$5.00 feeds a woman for ONE DAY
$10.00 buys a pack of masks for a family
$20.00 buys a hygiene kit for a woman
$25.00 buys a medicine for sick woman
$35.00 feeds a woman for ONE WEEK
$50.00 buys an emergency kit for a woman's family according to family needs
$75.00 covers a woman's rent/utilities for ONE MONTH
$200.00 pays for a woman's wages for ONE MONTH
$250.00 feeds a woman's whole family for ONE MONTH (5-8 members)
$500.00 feeds TWO women's whole families for ONE MONTH (5-8 members)
$2,000.00 pays rent/utilities for Empowerment Center for ONE MONTH
$3,500.00 pays rent/utilities for Local Women’s Handicrafts for ONE MONTH
$5,000.00 pays for a safety net and stability for the long-term for both LWH and EC
SHOP online at Local Women's Handicrafts. Although the shop has temporarily closed, there were 50 units of each item in stock at the time of closing, and inventory will be shipped immediately when the shop re-opens. All orders will be fulfilled as soon as possible!
MORE ABOUT NASREEN:
A 20-something year-old with resolute determination, Nasreen Sheikh does not know her birthdate or exact age. In her native, undocumented village bordering India and Nepal, girls’ births are not officially recorded. At an early age, Nasreen came to believe “as girls, we are simply commodities that are bought and traded as such. We are not human beings.”
By age 9 or 10, Nasreen was working 12-15 hours per day in a Nepali sweatshop as a child laborer. She received less than $2 per grueling shift - and only if she completed the hundreds of garments demanded of her. Around the age of 16 in 2008, determined to empower disadvantaged women, Nasreen managed to secure a loan and founded Local Women’s Handicrafts (LWH). In 2015, Nasreen spoke at a US women’s conference and soon afterwards founded Empowerment Collective (EC).
While speaking at conferences and events worldwide, Nasreen has planned to focus her 2020 on expanding the vision and blueprint of LWH and EC - she has been working tirelessly on her mission of sharing her message globally, including writing a book and creating a powerful film that will showcase her life's work.
Due to COVID-19, this lifesaving mission and vision is on hold as Nasreen desperately tries to keep food on the table for her women and their families back in Nepal.
ABOUT LOCAL WOMEN'S HANDICRAFTS:
Based in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, the city in which Nasreen worked as a child laborer, Local Women's Handicrafts is an eco-conscious collective of women who create unique fashion and decor in Nepal. The organization's mission is to create jobs for marginalized and disadvantaged Nepali women in order for them to gain financial independence. SHOP HERE: www.localwomenshandicrafts.com
ABOUT EMPOWERMENT COLLECTIVE:
Empowerment Collective is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that envisions a world where women are leaders in their communities — in control of their own lives, their own rights, and their own decisions. Empowerment Collective focuses on empowering women and girls in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities who are living in trauma and poverty by providing a safe space to learn and work, fostering education and skills training, offering health care and awareness, and helping to build environmental and disaster resilience – all with the purpose-driven mission of building twenty Women’s Empowerment Centers within twenty years. LEARN MORE: https://empowermentcollective.org/
Please share and help Nasreen and the women she employs - this is an area where we can REALLY make a huge impact DIRECTLY!
Thank you for your time, consideration, and (hopefully) your donation! Your contribution makes a massive difference.
Keep up with Nasreen on Instagram: @_nasreensheikh
Watch Nasreen's powerful Tedx Talk from March 2018: How To Record Silence
Learn more about Nasreen, LWH, and EC:
Activist Artists Management is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Local Women’s Handicrafts/Empowerment Collective. Donations are 100% tax deductible.