Hipknit is an activity operated by SHEWD. The Society for Health Environment and Women's Development (SHEWD) is a non- governmental, not-for-profit organization working in Lalitpur district of Nepal. Since its founding in 1998, SHEWD has been dedicated to working for the interests of the poor in the community on issues of health, computer education, environment and women's empowerment.
SHEWD is fully operated by young Nepalese volunteers who themselves are members of the target-communities. SHEWD works without structural financial support from the government or from foreign donors.
Founding principles for SHEWD are:
- Helping the poorest residents
- Involving the community in planning, maintenance, and implementation of various projects.
- Making economic participation available for women
- Making safe health care available to the poor by training.
- Educating poor youth
- Making available computer training for youth
- Becoming a self-sufficient organization while working on social-welfare
What happens to the money?
All proceedings from Hipknit orders go directly to SHEWD in Nepal. Non of the profit goes to middlemen. The profit is partly put back into the community of Thaiba and will be partly invested in other SHEWD projects in the areas of Health, Environment Awareness and Education.
How do the producers profit form Hipknit?
The people of Thaiba are among the poorest in Nepal. Most residents work at farming and handicrafts and have an average annual income of less than $250. Malnutrition, inadequate housing, illiteracy, lack of educational and vocational training for young people, unemployment, and lack of proper health care are just some of the problems that residents face.
To date, there has been little not-for-profit intervention in the area. The biggest burden of poverty falls on the women. The majorities are illiterate and unskilled, spend their lives isolated, are often abused, and have little access to power and decision making in their families and community.