Maggie Doyne 'Blink Now'

An introduction at the Do Lectures by Maggie Doyne and her 'Blink Now' project

The Kopilla Women's Centre

(http://www.blinknow.org/pages/womens-center)

At the age of 18 Maggie Doyne went off travelling and her travels led her to Nepal, which is where her life changed and she changed others lives, along her journey through the villages she came across a girl, Hima, 6 yrs old and was shocked to see her working for a few pennies to feed her family......Maggie was upset by the harsh reality of it all but decided to help Hima get a better life and started paying for her to go to school, she started helping other children but with the financial burden of this, she needed to raise more money, she felt the need to do more, so with her life savings she bought a plot of land in Surkhet and began to build a home for the orphan children, with the help of locals and Blink Now co-founder Top bahadur Malla along with friends, family and other people from around the world, in 2008 the 'Kopila valley Childrens Home was finished. (Kopila means flower bud).

It is now the home of 50 children and in 2010 a school was built where many children from around Surkhet attend and to add to that a health centre has been built and a womens centre was built and opened in 2013.

The womens centre was built to provide job training and education for women in the community, and a shop was opened in the town to sell the handcrafted products made by the women at the centre.

Women are still a minority in Nepal, they do hard graft like farming, they are abused and have suffered loss and yet they are strong and positive.  The centre focuses on educating and empowering these women to build a better future, classes include human rights, health issues, self confidence, business classes, sewing and weaving.

The women produce clothing, uniforms and back packs for the Kopila school students alongside producing products for the community.

Blink Now believe ' every child in the world should be provided with the most basic needs and rights - a safe home, medical care, an education and love.....'

At the womens centre it is their aim is to give every woman an education and a skill to enable them to be stronger and give their own children a brighter future, encouraging them to follow in their footsteps.

'The world will change when our girls and our women are educated' - Maggie Doyne

'Amazing things happen when women come together and support each other. That is the core premise and promise of the Kopila Valley Women's Centre'

 

(http://www.blinknow.org/pages/womens-center)

(also see interview with Anna Felton / Appendices)

 

 

Why the Womens Centre ??

(own photo)

Why did I want to follow up on this amazing project, well being a strong, independant woman myself, privileged but not without my struggles, raising my children whilst working to support them, suffering all kinds of adversity, I can say that I am lucky, lucky to live in a western society where there is help, free education, free health, good friends and an amazingly supportive mum. I did run away at one point and found myself in China, faced with poor hard working people there who had hearts of gold and would give you everything they had just to make you happy, people who no matter what their daily struggles were, they would never complain,  but laughed and welcomed you into their homes and community.

I grew stronger and more aware of how spoilt we westerners were, I became more relaxed and chilled and positive.

Maggie Doyne and many others like her who have done so much to help others in fantastic life changing ways make me feel humble and useless, I admire them immensely, so brave and inspiring.....so I decided that The Womens centre was the right path for me to follow and find out more about.

To make a difference to another persons life to have that lasting impact is simply rewarding ......

Situation Analysis

Currently the Womens centre trade in their own shop in their local community, most recently a collection of some of their products was brought to Southampton and launched in Solent University's own retail store 'Re:So .... It is a start but would'nt it be nice to reach a bigger audience.

There are many Eco Fashion organisations that they could showcase their work including:

http://www.ecofashionworld.com

http://ethical-fashion.uk

http://source.ethicalfashionforum.com

https://www.impossible.com

Identified as direct competition and possibly a company to look into as inspiration and even collaboration is Aura Que (see Brand Analysis).

Aura Que also work out of Nepal using local women and their craft skills working alongside WTFO, empowering the people to build a better future for themselves.

The current challenges they face are the lack of publicity and being located in Nepal is a definate problem within the supply chain, particulalry in Logistics, which if goods were to be imported to western countries could be costly and time consuming, which inevitably pushes up the prices of the products.

It is essential that they begin to market their products abroad in order to carry on the vital work at the centre, and to help with funding.

It has the potential to be a lucrative business and maybe as Aura Que have done become a well known Ethical Fashion company with the help of some industry experts like designers.

The fabrics are locally sourced but I am unsure as to where or how but know that they believe strongly in sustainability and do use recycled materials, everything is handwoven and hand sewn by the women.

 They are educating not just the women but the children too in looking after the environment and living sustainably, helping them to understand how to be ethical.

The exisiting consumers are basically their local community, most certainly having researched other ethical companies like People Tree, Impossible and Aura que there is a potential new market out there for them, it is just the matter of reaching out this market, to take inspiration from other companies on how they have plugged their products, promoted, priced and drawn in a consumer to purchase them, making a well known brand name for themselves.

 

 

PESTEL Analysis

The Mission

''The BlinkNow Foundation’s mission is to provide an education and a loving, caring home for orphaned, impoverished and at-risk children.  We also provide community outreach to reduce poverty, empower women, improve health, and encourage sustainability and social justice. The Foundation fulfills its mission by providing financial support and management oversight to the Children’s Home and Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal.''

''We place a huge emphasis on working together with our local community, conducting programs and providing scholarships for girls and socially vulnerable young women, thereby encouraging women’s empowerment and gender equality.''

Maggie Doyne and her associates who have made all this possible are to be praised, their mission statement as outlined above says a lot about their dedication to improving peoples lives in a disadvantaged country where war and natural disasters have taken their toll, to improve and rebuild the Nepalese peoples lives and in particular the women and children is a massive achievement, it is incredible, I feel that in promoting their work and dedication, achievements and products would be the greatest reward for them,would'nt it be wonderful if it was possible to bring over a couple of the women and children to also promote their products. What an amazing tribute that would be to the hard work Maggie Doyne has successfully pulled off in Kopila Valley  and continues to dedicate herself to.

Inspiring and challenging.

Conclusions

http://uk.businessinsider.com/nepals-economy-after-the-earthquake-2015-4?r=US&IR=T/april 30th /Binaj Gurubacharya and Kelvin Chan

The website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the main channels of communication but Maggie has appeared in Forbes and at Do Lectures and other media channels, however it is difficult to engage an audience if your audience dont have it rubbed in their faces, people only find out about things if they are particulalry looking or the Media feed it to them, that is why I am looking to the idea of first a magazine spread, or adverisement, followed by a poster advert on a forum like The Ethical fashion Forum or Made By, and finally a Poster to put on a shop window.

Even I found it difficult to write in my own words about this Foundation with only the Websites information and the answers I got from the interview. I do know that it is a fabulous project and something I would definately want to find out more about given more time and resources.

There needs to be impact, shock factor, photos that show how beautiful Nepal can be then how devastated it was by the earthquake, Photos that show us the beautiful nepalese women in their traditional costumes and happy children and the shock with photos of abuse, unhappiness, despair..... finally showing that there is hope ,there is a happy ending , I want to show photos of the Womens centre, their products and put punchy statements on to grab the consumers attention and imagination.

Look how the media affects peoples views and how they react every time they show a recent humanitarian disaster, The Rana plaza, and everyone is shouting and protesting about Primark, The syrian refugees, one little boys lifeless body on a beach and people are lobbying the government to take action......

I believe a powerful message, a photo that gives an impact ...Pow !!! and you have a captive audience with avid supporters and followers.

''Posters are important tools of promotion owing to visibility.....they can give an edge over competitors....produce a desire from potential consumers....'' (http://www.captivatingsigns.com/blog/bid/85373/Why-Advertise-through-Posters)