In 2005 Solace began work in Nepal thanks to a generous grant from the Dororthy Byrne Family Foundation.
Perched on the mountain slopes in the Himalayas in Phaplu village is a six classroom school staffed with highly educated teachers from Kathmandu.
As with all of our projects, Solace did our research and asked the community what they believed would help their village. The response was – a community-based school with smaller classroom sizes and better teachers. The Phaplu school focus’s on small class sizes of twenty-twentyfive students (as opposed to fifty+).
Looking at the completed structure, it is hard to believe that the walls are built from hand-hewn stones and the windows, doors, desks and benches are from hand-milled lumber. We proudly employed local labor and building materials were also acquired locally to develop this project.
Over a billion people worldwide live on a dollar a day or less – and women make up a majority of the world’s poorest citizens. Women face unique economic barriers in developing countries, such as low wages, poor working conditions, and lack of access to credit. Investing in women is a proven path to reducing poverty. Decades of research have shown that when women have access to more resources, they invest in their families’ future by spending money on children’s education, health care and nutrition. This creates a multiplier effect that strengthens families and communities over time.
In 2011 Solace created the Nepal Cottage Industry Project which includes both a retail center and a workshop. The shop employs artisans, designers and shopkeepers, many of which are single mothers that have escaped the sex trade and have no other form of income. Solace Nepal Project Director Michelle Winston works to train and employ these young women in handicraft and textile design, enabling them to make a living wage and care for themselves and their families.