Kalilo would not exist without the amazing artisans who pour their heart and soul, using their passion, knowledge, creativity and expertise to give life to the items they work on. It requires a tremendous amount of patience, commitment and dedication.
We respect and value people we work with and appreciate the work they do. There are faces behind every Kalilo's product and without them the unique story that each product carries, reflecting their creative spirits would be incomplete and we would like to introduce some of these faces to you.
We thank you all for your amazing work!
Name: Suku Maya
Place of birth: A small village near Hetauda (4 hours’ drive from Kathmandu)
Family: Family of 4 with a daughter (24 years old) and a son (21 years old)
Suku Maya didi ("didi" means elder sister in Nepali. It is one of the most common words and is used to address someone respectfully, even a stranger) grew up in a small village near Hetauda. She understands the value of education as she could never go to school even though she very much wanted to. Inaccessibility, poor financial condition and patriarchal conservative society meant her family chose to send only her brother to school. She doesn't want her children to go through the same experience she did when she was a child and has ensured that both her children get the best possible education she can.
Name: Manoj Kumar Dhami
Place of birth: Sunsari
Family: Family of 5 with a sister and a brother
Manoj dai ("dai" is the male equivalent to "didi" and used in the same way) is a young unmarried man. He works as a dyeing master and has 9 years of experience. He dropped out of high school to find a job so he could financially support his younger brother and sister's education. It is easy to recognize Manoj dai as he always has a smile on his face.
Name: Muna Magar (first in the back from left)
Place of birth: Patan, Kathmandu Valley
Family: Family of 7 with 4 children (sons)
Muna didi was born and raised in Patan. Being brought up in the capital, accessibility to a school was not a problem, but lack of quality education in the public school she went to was. Failing her final upper secondary exams and no hope for a decent future, she quit and started to work at a young age instead. She doesn't want her children to be hopeless and quit school at a young age like her. This job has provided her financial support to be able to send her children to a private school where they can get good education, giving them a chance for a better life.
Name: Ambika Shrestha (second in the back from left)
Place of birth: Dhapakhel, Kathmandu Valley
Family: Family of 5 with one daughter
Ambika didi was born in Dhapakhel, Kathmandu. Thirteen years of work experience at a very young age explains why she did not even get to finish her primary education. She had to quit school at an age of 10 because of her family's financial situation. Poverty and gender discrimination are very common and prevalent in Nepal even today. Not everybody can afford to send their children to school and boys have much higher chance of being educated than girls.
People like Ambika didi are beacons of change for coming generation. She has a 5 year old daughter who has recently started going to a kinder garden. She wants to ensure that her daughter can go to a good school and in her own words, she will provide opportunities for her daughter, so she can study forever if she would like to.
Name: Bel Kumari Shrestha (front)
Place of birth: Saping, Kavre
Family: Family of 5 with 2 sons and 2 daughters
Bel Kumari didi is from a remote village in Nepal. She always wanted to go to school, but coming from a poor family and no nearby schools meant she and her sisters could only dream of school. She did not want her kids to go through the same and has ensured that they get good education. One of her sons just graduated and the other one is still in primary school. Both of her daughters are already married. Bel Kumari didi wishes every child, regardless of family situation or gender has the chance to go to school.
Name: Kalinanda Mishra
Place of birth: Saptari
Family: Family of 4 with a son and a daughter
Kalinanda Mishra is the knitting and weaving headmaster. He has over 26 years of experience - 14 of them in India. He is highly respected among his colleagues and everybody calls him Master Ji (Ji is a title of respect in Nepali). He has happy memories from his childhood. Growing up in a small village (close to Indian border) was fun but not easy because of everyday obstacles.