Sunday, 16 February 2014

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

There’s a saying that mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Some of the highest altitude oaks in the world grow in Nepal, which is where Danusha began in 2008.

I remember the first time I stepped into the workshop at Lalgadh Leprosy Services centre. It was an incredibly moving experience as I watched women whose fingers had been lost to nerve damage manipulate stones and thread to make objects of beauty.

As well as training in jewellery making we provide adult literacy lessons, decent wages, good food, basic health and hygiene education and we’ve sponsored compost toilets too - very important in the fight against pollution of drinking water. Childhood diarrhoea is one of the main causes of death in children under the age of 5, simply because people don’t have access to clean water.

I’ve always been concerned about issues like poverty, equality and human rights, and think it’s important for us all to do what we can to make the world a better place for everyone. Along the way I’ve been inspired by ordinary people who work to get the job done. You won’t read about them in books but many of my friends work really hard for the benefit of other people.

My Danusha experience has been life changing for me. I think far more carefully about what I buy and opt for fair trade whenever possible. I spend a fair amount of time in south east Asia and have seen first hand some terrible working conditions.

Take a moment to look around. What can you see? If you’re reading this I guess there’s a computer, phone or tablet not too far away. Imagine all the people involved in making it. It’s impossible to know just how many pairs of hands it’s been through on its journey to your home, but it’s a fair bet there’s been some exploitation along the way. I’m not saying ‘don’t have stuff’, simply that we should all do what we can to redress the balance from time to time, and buying fair trade is a good first step.

At Danusha, highlights have been working direct with the women to develop new designs, and watching them blossom as they gain in confidence. In their society any association with leprosy is a one way ticket to ostracisation so it’s fantastic to see them regaining the respect of their families and being accepted back into their communities. This is what skills training does. It gives people back their dignity and I love it! I also love the light and life and colour of Nepal. Being there is like fire for the soul. 

You can find and find a wide range of Danusha pieces of jewellery at both and

From Alli of Danusha,

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Time to fall in love!

Lovebirds Necklace - £24.50
February is a month of love! A time to show your loved one, just how much you care. We want to show you how you can surprise your loved one with beautiful handmade jewellery whilst helping other women create a more positive future for themselves and their families in different communities throughout the world.

We are very excited to introduce to you our new ranges of jewellery just recently in, just in time for Valentine's Day! We have fallen in love! We also wanted to let you know the positive effect you can have by buying our jewellery! Our April Showers Collection from Just Trade is made by the wonderful ladies at the Flowering Desert project in a rural community in Tamil Nadu, Southern India.

Heart earrings - £7.50

There are currently 18 ladies working there. The training and fairly paid employment opportunities at the Flowering Desert offer a way for the women to increase their skills and future work possibilities. Often bringing them a status in their society for the first time. 

Since the initial jewellery training programme in 2010 an additional 10 people have been trained in jewellery skills to keep up with the orders.

We hope you like the pieces you have seen here, you can purchase these and other jewellery at both and We can have it posted to you before Valentine's, perfectly and personally wrapped (included in price).

Sending you love and wishing you a wonderful February!