The Dolls4Tibet workshop in Dharamsala makes the unique Tibetan Bopa Dolls, which are uniquely named individually by the women who make them . The dolls have been a fantastic hit in our merchandise catalogue in previous years and this year is no exception.
Aiming to empower women by training them in new skills, offering enjoyable work opportunities to generate income within a homely and supportive environment – we are proud to have supported the Dolls4Tibet workshop through the sale of the Bopa Dolls and Himalayan Angel mobile and cards and we look forward to supporting the project for many years to come!
The workshop itself is the brainchild of Mona Bruchmann, who lives in Dharamsala with her Tibetan husband, Karma, and their two daughters. The story goes that whilst making the first Bopa doll as a Christmas gift for their daughter Samdol, the idea of setting up a doll-making workshop for the local Tibetan women slowly took shape.
From humble beginnings, the idea has gone from strength to strength and in spring 2007 Dolls4Tibet employed their first Tibetan trainee. Since then, the workshop has grown and grown and now employs 14 craftswomen.
Mona is often approached by women who are in desperate financial need and are very keen to work but who, unfortunately, have little or no skills or training. Some, especially new arrivals from Tibet, speak very little Hindi or English. Dolls4Tibet are able to address these different needs by creating employment with flexible working times and training individuals in accordance with their abilities.
Dolls4Tibet has achieved a great deal since its inception in 2007 and this work has been made possible, in part, by the support its workshop has received from the purchase of their wonderfully innovative Bopa Dolls.
From the hills of northern India, these dolls with a soul made by this small-scale, self-sufficient, socially aware enterprise are what Tibet Relief Funds merchandise is all about!
A message from the workshop:
“We feel we are doing something worthwhile, and of course we want to reach out and spread the word about Tibet with our products
We would like to thank you all so, so much, for whatever support you were able to give us – be it as an individual, who bought a doll or an angel from us, a shop who is ordering and displaying our dolls, somebody who is aware of us and spreads the word or somebody who is thinking about supporting us– each one of you has been and is important to us, as you are enabling us to do what we do and go ahead and face the New Year with great hope, joy and confidence.
May Tibetans around the world be heard and find justice and may Tibet soon be free of Chinese occupation and tyranny.”