The Women’s Empowerment (WE) Center will educate disadvantaged women, teaching handicraft making and business skills. The WE Center will also serve as an emergency shelter and safe house for abused women.
LOCWOM’s WE Center will implement a visionary formula for women’s freedom: SKILLS +KNOWLEDGE = EMPOWERMENT. LOCWOM believes that a skilled woman who has financial knowledge holds the key to herself.
SKILLS: LOCWOM will first teach local women how to make Nepali garments and accessories. Each woman will remain in LOCWOM’s skills mentorship program for at least 6 months and each woman will receive a monthly stipend to start her financial freedom. Once they graduate, they will have skills that they will forever own and cannot be stolen or taken from them. LOCWOM believes women’s empowerment must be grounded in their own culture. That is why we teach handicrafting, a skill that is rooted in their cultural identity. True empowerment means learning a skill that is familiar not foreign.
KNOWLEDGE: LOCWOM also believes that women must possess business knowledge and financial literacy. Far too often, disadvantaged womem make goods in sweatshops or oppressive conditions where they are paid pennies and cannot ever save or get ahead. How can we be empowered if we do not know how to manage and save our own money? The WE Center will teach women how to create business plans, a personal budget and a savings plan. This knowledge will assure LOCWOM’s mentored women actually enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
EMPOWERMENT: Real empowerment is not simply a destination. Real empowerment is a doorway that opens and must keep opening wider and wider so that LOCWOM’s women continue to improve their lives. LOCWOM will serve as an information resource for its graduates to find business opportunities locally, regionally, and globally. LOCWOM will also serve as an information resource for businesses committed to hiring responsibly. LOCWOM will host a yearly conference & trade fair where local women entrepreneurs, empowerment enthusiasts and business owners can meet, network and form sustainable business relationships. The conference and trade show events will create an environment where people can engage with international women entrepreneurs and women’s rights activists. The conference will be held annually every March 8th (International Women’s Day) .