Fel­ting flower
The women — coope­ra­ti­ve from the vil­la­ge make a cont­ri­bu­ti­on to the adult edu­ca­ti­on pro­ject by using their crafts­manship. In August 2015, I visi­ted the vil­la­ge and taught the women of the local coope­ra­ti­ve how to make flowers and cushions using felt. I did this becau­se I am con­vin­ced that in order to encou­ra­ge sustain­ab­le deve­lop­ment, you have to edu­ca­te adults and also pro­vi­de sup­port for their eco­no­my on a small scale.

The flowers and cushions are made from local sheep’s wool. The women wash and card the wool in their own vil­la­ge. Flowers bear a spe­cial mea­ning for Ladak­hi peop­le. You can see them ever­yw­he­re in their gar­dens. They love the dash of colours in the mid­st of the arid, moun­tai­nous land­scape. For trek­kers, felt flowers and cushions are authen­tic sou­ve­nirs from the village.

Gal­le­ry Fel­ting Flower

Warm slip­pers
The vil­la­ge women knit thick wool socks during the win­ter time using sheep’s wool which they pro­cess them­sel­ves. The natu­ral­ly brown and black wool is spun into fair­ly thick and soft threads. The knit­ted socks are embellished with cross-stitch pat­terns. The socks are then com­bi­ned with lea­ther soles and enhan­ced with a felt insert. The­se warm slip­pers can be easi­ly sto­wed away in a ruck­sack and are ide­al com­pa­n­ions during Trek­king tours and hiking excur­si­ons. The locals wear them as tra­di­tio­nal, com­for­ta­ble slip­pers during the win­ter time.

Gal­le­ry Hut Slippers

Impor­t­an­ce of sales for the women 
The sale of flowers, cushions and slip­pers means a lot to the women. They are very proud to be able to sell their self-made han­di­craft pro­ducts. As a result, they feel they are appre­cia­ted. The earnings give them a cer­tain finan­ci­al inde­pen­dence and so sup­port the aims of the coope­ra­ti­ve. In addi­ti­on, the earnings also pro­vi­de a con­tri­bu­ti­on towards win­ter schooling.