Website open, tea being drunk and enquiries being answered. Deliveries are still taking place.
Well, some people in Nepal are back at work. 42 companies and offices are now allowed to open and we are one of them! We are allowed to have some of our people back in the workshops and office but we have to provide food and lodging for them there. Everybody must stay 1m apart and we have to keep the whole area sanitised. So there was a small ‘relief programme’ at the workshops, a lot of the staff there came back to work and we gave out essential supplies of rice and lentils.
Meet our wonderful Sarmila Bhele. Sarmila keeps us all straight at our new workshops in the ancient city of Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is about 8 miles east of Kathmandu in Nepal. Sarmila is the leader of a group of about 25 knitters who live in the area and work from home and our new workshops.
Sarmila is 31 years old and is married to Rameshowar and they have an 11 year old son called Aayan. Rameshowar is the owner operator of his own bus in and around Kathmandu. Black Yak pays for Aayan’s schooling in a local school.
We could not operate our new workshop without Sarmila. She goes through the orders that we send over and distributes them, with wool and knitting instructions, to our knitters. She then performs magic and collects all the knitting back in and somehow manages to get it all back to our main unit for sorting, checking and finishing.
Meet the people behind the brand who help produce Black Yak……so they can also ‘Be an Individual’. In one of the first of our people stories we would like to introduce you to Rupa!
Rupa is head of the finishing department, which is a very demanding and important role. She has worked with us for more than 8 years and intends to spend the rest of her working life with Black Yak. Before she worked with us Rupa did not have regular work, doing ‘piece work’ knitting.
We should like to introduce you to Anita.
Anita is always great fun and is our chief quality control knitter.
She has been working with us since 2004 with a two year break in the middle to marry Suman Lama and to have her son, Aashushen. He is now a wonderful happy seven years old and is class two in school. Black Yak is paying for his schooling.
Meet Prem Magar - a very important member of our team.
Prem is 36 years old and after three years of school he started work in a rice mill.
Rice mills are extremely hard physical work with a less than stellar safety record. It was not guaranteed work and he only got paid when they needed some extra muscle. He filled in by dish washing in people’s houses.