If you give me a rupee, I shall eat for a day. But if you teach me how to weave I shall eat for a lifetime.Income Generation Program
Once the three basic needs of health, housing and food are met, members of the women’s cooperative are given the opportunity to earn a fair income to further their own development and those of their families. In our program we focus on women from marginalized sections of the communities. These can be in any of the three districts that we work in. We also have the main center in Darjeeling where we make products and sell them in the market locally and internationally.
OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERVENTION:
- To train and build the capacity of the women in the community to be able to earn a sustainable income to support their families.
- To train women to create high quality knitted and tailored products so as to promote textile, handicraft and fair trade products in the local and international market.
- To create a community of women from low income and vulnerable communities who are skilled, confident and feel safe in their circle of strength.
- To promote a culture of Entrepreneurship and responsible business in the wider community.
Our primary means of income generation is through weaving handicrafts of traditional fabrics and carpets, knitting and sewing. After the vocational training period of three months, women get a certificate so that they can search for work outside of Hayden Hall. Alternatively, they may choose to avail themselves to our raw materials, designs and marketing facilities by selling their products to the Hayden Hall Shop where they are assured fair wages for their work.
Since 1972, we have trained 20,036 women, some of whom still work at Hayden Hall. It takes one weaver approximately six weeks to complete a one-by-two-meter carpet.We provide machines, fabric and sewing instructions.Workers practice traditional hand-weaving of fabrics for bags, coats, shawls, bedspreads etc.We teach machine and hand knitting skills. These are some of the overheads that we do in each of our centers which is led by the program director.
Hand-Crafted Products from Hayden Hall’s Artisans
Hayden Hall provides job opportunities and training for unemployed women in several workshops. Weavers use traditional back-strap looms for the distinctive Hayden Hall bags, backpacks and purses. There is a sewing room where women learn to sew and assemble the hand-loomed items. Most hand-knits are crafted at home. Knitters pick up yarn one week prior and deliver woolen sweaters the next week. Tibetan-style carpets are knotted, trimmed and finished in another workshop.
Each year we focus on 3 batches of 20 women each with whom we conduct training on the products. Once they are skilled on the products we focus on the following 3 areas:
Through which we enable the women to start their own business and over the years to get sustainable income.
All the Hayden Hall artisans participate in handicrafts cooperative and making their own decisions about their work.While working at Hayden Hall, women are also enrolled in a health program that covers basic medical expenses, a lunch program, and their children benefit from the many children’s programs, from day-care and health care through after-school tutoring to help with public or private school fees.
Hayden Hall’s products can be specially ordered by specifying your choice of available colours and weaves. Prices and shipping times will vary with special orders.