As the work expanded, we recognized the need to find ways to make AOGE programs more sustainable. Developing initiatives and businesses to support our efforts in restoration, education and prevention was crucial. We want to reduce costs with strategies socially and environmentally just and increase our income.
Prior to the 2015 earthquake we bought a farm located approximately 130 km from Kathmandu. We began planting vegetables and raising livestock, which have already met part of the food demand of our homes. Our goal is to lower the cost of food, by producing meat and growing vegetables on our own land.
The second aspect of the move toward sustainability is to generate income both in the short and long term. After studies of agricultural viability, we found that the best for our farm is the production of cardamom in large scale for sale.
The farm is a pleasant place with a beautiful view of the Himalayan mountains. It is located near the city of Kalinchowk, a tourist destination for mountaineering and skiing. For this reason, we also have the project of transforming it into a guest house, where these tourists could stay overnight. Rooms are already being built for this purpose. The space we have is already used for rest and personal care retreats for the entire AOGE family and groups that offer training to us.
Start-ups were initiated to help our boys and girls use their creativity and skills and have opportunities to work and earn money.
In the Training Center, some of the young women work as seamstresses. They make tablecloths, purses, bags, wallets, aprons, clothes, pencil cases and other things that are sold to people who visit us as well as those in the AOGE family. The young women produce the uniforms for the children of our school and reform or adjust the dresses for our Beautiful Celebration shop.
The Beauty parlor is a training site for youth who want to learn about makeup, skin care, manicures, haircutting and styling. We often receive teams from other countries who come to teach latest techniques and styles. We currently have four young women studying hairology, manicure, pedicure, skin care and makeup in the best beautician school in Nepal. When they complete the course, they can teach others.
Beautiful Celebration is a business where young women from AOGE work with the production of parties and events. Services such as party and wedding decoration, cupcake production, rental of dresses and formal clothes for parties and weddings are provided. In partnership with the Beauty Parlor, beautification services are offered for brides, weddings and parties. All of these services can be ordered individually or as packages.
We are always looking for opportunities for other businesses, professional courses and vocational training. Nepal is a poor country and it is difficult for young people to enter the labor market, particularly for those who struggled in school. We constantly encourage the youth to explore their gifts and abilities in order to find a job they love and that will provide them a livable wage.