Industrial Tailoring Students Provide Support for the Caste Equality Project

Industrial Tailoring Students Provide Support for the Caste Equality Project

Former Kamlaris enrolled at Olgapuri Vocational School make school uniforms for massive back-to-school initiative!

Through the Caste Equality Project, NYF has spent the last few months working with local families, teachers, and stakeholders to organize a massive push towards educational equity in Saptari District.

Saptari District is a remote area of southeastern Nepal. Casteism, systemic neglect, and other generational challenges have left families unable to leverage their incredible potential to build prosperity. Boldly encouraging and championing the launch of the Caste Equality Project was among the last major projects of our late founder, Olga Murray’s lifetime, and she has trusted the NYF staff and community to share her promise and see this work through the end. Our goal is to empower Nepali Dalit communities to access the opportunities and resources they need to build towards the futures they envision for themselves and their children.

Our work in Saptari District will equip the community to be the primary agents within this important movement—exactly how Olga would have done it.

With the new school year in the district beginning at the end of April, we are stocking school kitchens with fresh, high-quality, nutrient-rich ingredients to combat widespread malnutrition and encourage school attendance. A huge part of this effort includes providing hundreds of children with school uniforms.

But these aren’t just any uniforms. They’re actually being crafted by NYF’s very own students currently enrolled in Olgapuri Vocational School’s Industrial Tailoring program. This program offers more than just hands on vocational training—but also an empowered path to a new life.

From Vision to Reality: The Industrial Tailoring Course

NYF’s Industrial Tailoring course at Olgapuri Vocational School represents a story of a worthwhile transformation from one collective vision. The idea originated from a women’s empowerment group within the Freed Kamlaris Development Forum (FKDF). FKDF is a community-based nonprofit led by and developed specifically for former kamlaris—young Tharu women who were once trapped in a system of indentured servitude in the homes of Nepal’s elite. (You can read more about NYF’s 20-year-long project freeing kamlari girls and abolishing the practice here!)

During a group discussion, these women saw the need for professional training in industrial tailoring. They recognized the potential for a stable, flexible, and lucrative career in Nepal’s booming clothing export industry. Their request was so powerful and enthusiastic that our team had to find a way to provide this opportunity. In May 2021, we welcomed our first class of students in the new Industrial Tailoring class.

Industrial Tailoring quickly became Olgapuri Vocational School’s most popular courses for women. It’s not just about learning a valuable trade; it’s about creating opportunities, building empowerment, and reclaiming futures. These special training courses support these women in their journeys to advocate for a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Industrial Tailoring and the Pursuit of Caste Equality Today

In 2024, NYF’s Industrial Tailoring course continues to be a very popular option for women, including many former kamlaris.

We’re thrilled to share that the talented students currently enrolled in the course are supporting NYF’s efforts to advance educational equity in Saptari District by helping to create the much-needed school uniforms! Students are practicing their new skills by lovingly preparing structured shirts, jackets, skirts, slacks, and neckties for boys and girls in a variety of sizes—all while receiving an additional income!

Graduates of the Industrial Tailoring program have been supporting the process by fine-tuning the final products created by their peers. These graduates are earning a higher rate than they would at the factories they work for! The assignment is perfect for refining important tailoring skills that they’ll need in their new careers, while also earning a living wage through this special project. They’re creating a total of 670 sets of uniforms for the children in Saptari District to wear on the first day of school.

A Transformative Change in Saptari District

The timing of this educational push through the Caste Equality Project lined up perfectly with the industrial tailoring course. It has created a unique and lucrative opportunity for former kamlaris to support in creating these long-lasting school uniforms. We’re delighted that these women—who were once robbed of educational opportunities and their childhoods—are now empowered leaders who can support and transform communities in Nepal through projects like this.

As NYF continues to grow, our team molds and develops programs in the contexts of local need, potential, and participation. We strive to ensure our interventions in Nepali communities are done through sustainable measures that emphasize self-sufficiency whenever possible. What a golden example!

Join us in celebrating these resilient women who are leading the way to a better tomorrow. You too can support the Caste Equality Project and this educational push by making a donation today.

Empowering Transformations, One Gift at a Time

Here are just a few ways your gift powers transformations for children & families in Nepal.


provides 1 one-hour therapy session to a child learning vital emotional skills


provides 20kg of Lito, a life-saving and highly nutritious super flour distributed to families


covers the greenhouse build for a SAAET trainee in NYF's vocational training program


keeps a child safe in a loving family member's home & in school for a year


covers one year of living expenses, school supplies, and testing fees for a motivated college student