Rouse Cares... Into 2018
Expanding our relationship with The Mitrataa Foundation in Nepal
Rouse is proud of the charitable activities we carry out through our CSR initiative, Rouse Cares, across all our offices. This year we are particularly delighted to be supporting a charity in Asia with two of their projects over the next 12 months. This is in place of sending our usual Season’s Greetings card.
The Mitrataa Foundation was set-up in 2000 by a former Rouse colleague, Bec Ordish. It works with the girls and women of Nepal to give them opportunities through education and jobs training. Our CEO, Luke Minford, and his family has visited Nepal to see the work Mitrataa does.
Nepal is considered to be one of the poorest countries in Asia with literacy rates below 50%, early marriages for girls and almost half the population living on less than one dollar a day. Mitrataa aims to change the outlook for girls in Nepal or as they say “do themselves out of a job” by providing education and training with the aim to lift the people they are helping out of poverty while at the same time creating sustainable employment opportunities for wider communities. One of their key values is positive psychology:
“Rather than “fixing what is broken”, we identify what is working based on strengths and passions (whether on a country, village, group, individual level) and build on those.”
Rouse has worked with Mitrataa over a number of years by providing pro bono advice linked to the registration of collective trade marks for the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association which is now registered in over 40 countries and the Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board. This collective trade mark enables them to develop these local industries to provide more sustainable employment and an alternative to aid dependency. We are so pleased that we are now able to help the charity over a sustained period.
The two projects we will be supporting in 2018 are:
Micro-entrepreneurs Platform Programme - Connecting Skills (and Products) with Markets
Social entrepreneurship is a better alternative to aid dependency for addressing social issues. Many of the women Mitrataa works with have wonderful skills – sewing, art (painting on to clothes/t-shirts/silk), cooking etc. But they don’t know how to reach a market for this to create sustainable businesses. Mitrataa is working on creating a platform which could link customers up with the women’s skills.
Mitrataa wants the women to be independent, tapping into local need on small scale connections as they cannot make large quantities. Their passion and skill is meeting their customer’s individual needs. The plan is to create a brand so people will recognise it as a place to go and connect with someone who can fulfil their needs for unique gifts, daily challenges or simply to spoil themselves.
Financial literacy is one of the greatest challenges facing Nepalis. At its core is a strong fear of numbers learned and taught over generations in school. Mitrataa wants to demystify maths and numbers and make them accessible to the kids and women they work with, to empower them to make great, informed and confident financial decisions in their future.
Mitrataa’s strategy has four main elements to ensure they capture them young and instil a love of numbers and then reinforce it throughout their education and adulthood. You can read more in the download below.