This week we're taking you to Nepal to meet Clare Bartram, who recently joined our Board. Clare, who normally calls Canberra home, has been a volunteer
with us since the beginning. She and Kira are in Nepal leading our
women empowering women trip.
What would you share about Nepal with someone who hasn't been?
Nepal has an awesome community of young entrepreneurs, innovators and artisans - and it's growing! There is a really positive movement towards made in Nepal, keeping creative talent and production local. In the absence of effective government action, grassroots solutions are emerging. Youth marches to #Strike4Climate, a revitalisation of traditional Nepali fabrics in ethically made fashion and Kathmandu's waste turned into homewares (tackling the city's major waste management problem). We could learn a lot from Nepal's entrepreneurs!
What's your day job?
I'm a student! I've just started a Masters in Slavery and Liberation with the University of Nottingham, the first course of its kind. I'm learning about the incredible citizen-driven movements that ended the slave trade in the 19th century, right up to trafficking and forced labour in the supply chains of modern companies, that make the products we buy. It's fascinating and challenging - I'm lucky I get to take a year focus on this and Project Didi.
What is the best book you've read this year?
The Girl From Kathmandu by Cam Simpson. The true story of a group of Nepali men who went to Jordan to work in a hotel. But they were tricked and taken in the dead of the night across the border into Iraq to work on a American military base. On the way they were kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists. Set in the aftermath of the Iraq War, it's the story of one of the widows who takes on the US Government to find answers. A fascinating, heart-breaking investigative piece about courage, justice and the far reaching impacts of war.
Where is your happy place?
Durras Beach on the South Coast, where I grew up. Toes squidgy in the sand and a swim on one of those days when the ocean is like smooth glass!
As you know at Project Didi, we’re all about empowering women to bring about positive change. What woman do you look up to?
My wonderful mother, one of Project Didi's founders. Mum has given me a connection with Nepal that pre-dates my birth! I've learnt a lot from her in the humble, thoughtful way she approaches Project Didi's work, the care she puts into nurturing our partnerships and her continual pursuit of learning.