Tara: „In my second life I support women in Nepal“.
Auf meiner Reise durch Nepal traf ich Tara Timilshina. Sie hat in Pokhara, dem Städtchen am Fusse des Himalaya, Chetana – einen Laden mit wunderschönen handgemachten Taschen und Gürteln. Es ist kein normaler Laden. Chetana ist ihr zweites Leben. Sie gründete ihn nach schwerer Krankheit, die sie fast ein Jahr ans Bett fesselte. Vorher hatte sie ein gut laufendes Trekkingbusiness, jetzt widmet sie ihr komplettes Leben den Frauen ihrer Gemeinschaft. Der komplette Erlös von Chetana fliesst in den Support von Frauen und ihren Kindern. Sie bekommen Training und einen Job bei Chetana, ihre Kinder einen Internatplatz. Chetana bedeutet „Öffne deinen Geist für Bildung“. Tara selbst kommt aus einem kleinen Dorf und genoss keine Schulbildung. In Nepal sind etwa 50% der über 14-Jährigen Analphabeten. Frauen haben geringe Bildungschancen. Lediglich ein Drittel von ihnen kann lesen und schreiben. Männer sterben in Nepal früher als Frauen, wie Taras Mann. Sie und ihre vier Kinder, wovon eine Tochter adoptiert ist, schmeissen Laden und Leben. Und das Leben von vielen hundert anderen Frauen. Tara bietet mit Chetana Frauen die Möglichkeit unabhängig zu werden. Kennengelernt habe ich sie durch Lisa Mikosch, die in Bonn und Kathmandu lebt. Lisa supportet Tara seit Beginn der Eröffnung des Non- For- Profit Ladens. Und ihr alle könnt mithelfen als Volunteers.
I met Tara in Pokhara, a city from where many people do the Annapurna Circuit. Tara and her husband had a successful trekking business. They could make a good living with it. After getting life threatening ill, she changed her life and career. Since 10 years she supports women and their children with Chetana, a non-for-profit NGO. They learn beautiful traditional Nepali handcraft skills and do bags and belts. 280 women from villages got a training so far. Some of their children get a place at a boarding school. Chetana means „Open your mind for education“. Tara herself comes from a village and did not go to school. 50 percent of the over 14 years old in Nepal are analphabets. Only one third of the girls/women can read and write. Tara is autodidact. She is so smart and powerful. She has 1 son and 3 daughters, one of them adopted. Tara wants to provide education for women in Nepal as much as possible. She is dedicating her complete life to this kind of support. Taras husband died, but Tara gets along with her life, because she managed to build a supportive community of women… I met her through Lisa, a friend from Germany that lives in Kathamandu and Bonn. She is supporting Tara with Chetana as well. Everybody can volunteer.
Yvi: Namaste Tara.
Yvi: Please tell me about the shift in your life. From just making business to giving.
Tara: I had a big trekking business. I made only for myself business. I saw I had enough for me, could build a house as a guesthouse. I became very sick and I decided I wanted to do something for women, build a woman program. I left my business and with Chetana this is a second life for me.
Yvi: What do I need to know about Chetana, it is not a normal shop where I can buy bags?
Tara: My shop is not only for buy, you are the support.
Yvi: So you don’t make a living with the shop?
Tara: No. Chetana is registered as a non-for-profit NGO. Money goes to rent, electricity, water. And then to the support for the women and children. We don’t need to make more profit. This is non-for-profit organization.
I integrate women that have problems with family and with the caste system in Nepal. Who get no education, have husband problem, family problem with these kind of women we are working together.
Yvi: How do you get in contact with these women?
Tara: We have application for women, we announce in the local newspaper, visit villages and talk to them, give them training for 3 months. They get free skills like textile design, cotton master, sewing, weaving. After the 3 months we give them a job. They get sewing machines and then they work at their homes making the products for Chetana. And when you buy here a bag or a blanket or a belt, the money goes directly to the women and their children and their education. We already supported 280 women like this. We sent the children to boarding school, at the moment 8 children are supported by Chetana.
Yvi: The kids of Chetana women, they can go to a private school?
Tara: Yes. To a boarding school. I try to help them to become strong and independent.
Yvi: Seems a lot to do. How many hours do you work a week for Chetana?
Tara: Every week 40 hours or more since 10 years. It is my hobby. I like it so much! But last year my husband died and I was not well physically. Now my daughter supports me and the shop , so at the moment I work 20 hours a week.
Yvi: You make a difference for women’s life in Nepal. Tell me about the life challenges they face?
Tara: Men and women are so much different treated in Nepal. It is mentality. Women need to give birth to sons. And I am now a single woman and they say “Oh you are without husband.” I say: „Yes and I like to empower woman.“
Yvi: You have 1 son and 3 daughters, one of them you adopted. Why?
Tara: My husband was a trekking guide, he brought me the child. She had no possibility to go to school, hardly food, her mother cannot take care of her, so I provide it for her, she lives with me now. That is karma. She is in tenth class now and is one of the best. When she finishes school, we will find a job for her. Maybe she will help with Chetana or whatever she wants to do.
Tara: You are supported by a german woman called Lisa.
Tara: Yes since 10 years. She is selling our bags in Germany, she finds sponsors for the children of Chetana women that pay the school fees.
Yvi: Thank you so much Tara, all the best to you!
Tara: Thank you, I love my job so much!