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smartketi: Manthali Volunteers
Smartketi is a non-profit cooperative that was started in 2014 to help the young girls of Manthali, Nepal. ‘Keti’ literally means girl in Nepali. Therefore, smartketi means ‘smart girl.’
Smartketi initially targeted a select group of 24 young girls from Manthali and its neighboring villages. These girls were taught a specific skill of making a bracelet. They then used this talent to make and sell their bracelets for income. These bracelets were sold in Nepal, but also in the UK and the US. Collectively, 400 smartketi bracelets were sold. The profits of these bracelets were shared among these girls and with smartketi.
Given the enthusiasm of this initial project, the community at large took notice and also asked to get involved with smartketi. Smartketi expanded its target and began to involve members of the entire community and its neighboring villages. With the proceeds of the initial bracelet project, several other smaller projects were established.
Current projects include:
The initial bracelet project was meant to provide a way for young girls to earn their own money. Many young girls in Manthali do not have a source of income as they grow older. Often, the scant resources that a family may have are used to pursue extra educational support for the males in a particular family. Some people believe that it is not necessary to educate girls beyond a certain level as they end up staying home, rearing children and working in the fields anyway. Smartketi showed these young girls that they could generate an income. They have used this income to pursue higher educational opportunities or open a small business. It allowed them make decisions that affected themselves and their futures.
Below is a short video, describing the bracelet project. Also, there is a quick link to learn more specifics about the project.