Homenet Nepal (HNN)- An organization for Homeworkers, is a membership-based organization focused on developing small scale enterprises in Nepal. In practice, Homenet has been working to secure markets, provide training and necessary equipment for small scale manufacturers who work from their homes (home-workers) as tailors, shoemakers, and handicraft designers. Homenet Nepal has also been working with underprivileged women, especially those who face domestic violence, by lending assistance in financial independence.
After the earthquake of 2015, a lot of “home-workers” lost their homes which is also their workspace, along with their equipment and machinery, halting their source of income. Their machines and materials that were the only way of living were taken away by the earthquake. Homenet Nepal took action by assisting to continue their work by building communal workspaces for those who lost their homes and provided machinery for those who lost their equipment.
With the vision to improve the livelihood of small-scale manufacturers, Homenet has also brought each and every manufacturer’s contribution to the mainstream national economy and gave a solid example of development within small and thriving, emerging markets.
Homenet (HNN) – An organization for Homeworkers, was founded as an NGO in 2001 with an aim to improve the sustainable living of the home-workers through lobbying in the marketplaces and advocating the local government bodies. Then, in early 2011 it was constituted of 100% Membership Based Organization (MBO) that made the structure of the organization more democratic with elections to choose their representatives. By 2017, HNN has more than 164 organizations in its network. HNN made all the efforts to change its entire structure into MBO modality to ensure fair representation by voting and increase participation of Home-based workers (HBWs) through membership.
Homenet (HNN) – An organization for Homeworkers, also founded Home Creation, an organization for women, by women. Home Creation is founded by a group of women who think about how they can best support women, what they need and how one can make life better. They are mainly targeting women who have undergone domestic violence. To resolve that, Home Creation believes that it is better for women to be financially independent than depending on the husband and in-laws. As a result, now there are groups of women in Home Creation who are exploring their potential to work and run a company as a team. They have created a group and now collectively work together to produce bamboo handicrafts, bamboo furniture, dresses, etc. This has provided women with an opportunity to show their skills and earn for themselves.
Providing workspaces and working equipment was the first part of solving homeworker’s problem. The next challenge they were facing was selling products at a low price. The home-based producers were normally selling their product(s) to a middle man and the middle man would pay them a very low price and would get 10 times more value at the market. To address this issue, HNN established a shop called Homenet Shop (HNS). At Homenet Shop, the home-based workers can display and sell their products at a much reasonable cost. HNS provided the workers with exposure. Alongside that, it also serves them as a platform to get information on the demand of the current market, customer preferences, and pricing.
The other major projects being run by HNN are Safe City Nepal, Inclusive Livelihood Project for People with Disabilities, C4 Project, Food Security & Livelihood, Community-Led Reconstruction Project (CLRP), Legal Right Program (LRP) and Enterprise Development Program (EDP). Safe City Nepal is working towards creating a safer city for everyone. The Inclusive Livelihood Project for People with Disabilities has been active since January 2014 and has been successful to help over 300 people with disabilities to access training; become engaged in the community and gain decent employment. Community Child Care Centre (C4) provides childcare for children aged one and two years old. Food Security & Livelihood project aims to resume the livelihood of earthquake affected vulnerable communities, especially home-based workers. CLRP aims to ensure the lives of disaster-affected community people transformed positively and that their situation becomes even better than before the earthquake. Legal Right Program (LRP) aims to ensure improved livelihoods and build climate resilient communities by enabling the right holders to claim rights to productive resources. EDP supports building more enterprises in the community.
Since its inception to date, HNN has achieved many milestones. In partnership with Oxfam, it has supported almost 1100 HBWs (home-based workers) of Lalitpur, Kirtipur and Shankharapur Municipality with individual livelihood equipment worth of NRs 15,000 per person. They have linked 100 HBWs with cooperatives and now they have direct access to finances and micro-loans. They have established 2 Group Production Unit (GPU): one in Kirtipur and another is in LMC, Ekhalakhu, where 20 HBWs women have been directly benefited. Urban Jobs Hub is another initiation of HomeNet Nepal in support of Oxfam Nepal, which is providing innovative support to help urban poor and vulnerable people of all ages to work, training, and enterprise. They are acting as a single point of contact for employers offering a unique localized and free of charge bespoke jobs brokerage service. More than 600 people came in to contact with UJH, out of them, 116 urban poor have already been employed via UJH this year.
HHN has been playing a vital role in improving the livelihood of its members, all the while developing business strategies and market knowledge amongst its members for increased independence.