January 2021 - Educational Trip to India for Textiles and Technology Teachers

 18th Jul 2019 |  Travel |  Fritha Mason

Would you like to host a group of textile & technology teachers from your country on an educational trip to South India?
We invite you to become a co-host of the trip alongside the Secret Projects team and to invite 8 teachers to take part.
This trip will be an exploration of traditional dying, block printing, ethical production and women's empowerment. The aim is that teachers taking part will go back to their school communities and spread the word of incredible India, ethical production and social enterprise as a route to empowerment.
If you are interested in hosting, please email travel@secretprojects.org to discuss ideas!

Example Itinerary of the Trip

Here is how the trip could look, according to the itinerary curated by educationalist Lesley Peace for the first Educational Trip to South India, which will take place in January 2020.

Day 1 –

Arrive at lunchtime to the tech capital of India, Bengaluru and check into Hotel Serenity located just on the edge of city centre. Enjoy an afternoon of casual shopping and getting into the India vibe. A welcome briefing will take place before dinner at a local craft brewery restaurant.

Day 2 –

Take part in day 1 of a spectacular block printing workshop at the famous and world-renowned Tharangini Studios in Bengaluru. You will have the opportunity to design your own block before you travel out to India.

Day 3 –

Take part in day 2 of the block printing workshop. Celebrate your printing success with a pizza night and an Indian movie!

Day 4 -

Visit Secret Projects Production and Training Unit and meet Makers from the Bengaluru Networks. You will hear first-hand how their inclusion in Secret Projects has transformed their lives.

You will then be whisked off to the mind blowing Raja Market and given some time to explore and shop.

After a much needed lunch and rest in a South India canteen, enjoy an afternoon lecture on the different types of fabric produced across India by Guarav Shah, one of the owners of a popular fabric shop Ritis. You will have the opportunity to buy fabrics at a discounted rate, which you can then choose to have made into a Secret Pillow by one of the Secret Projects Makers.

This will be followed by dinner at a rather spectacular venue in the centre of Bengaluru.

Day 5 –

This day will start early. Everyone will pile into a Tempo Traveller (aka mini bus) and drive 3.5 hours to the state of Andhra Pradesh. You will be welcomed to a community run by Brother Thomas. There is a school, a medical dispensary and a training centre. Secret Projects have been working with this community since 2016.

After a delicious lunch, Secret Projects Maker Group ‘Nature’ will spend the afternoon with you. We welcome you to design a small, foldable, useful, purposeful and charming product made out of scrap India cotton fabric or scrap India sari. Take the time to sample the product with the Makers and talk to each other about your hopes and dreams for your life.

Stay overnight within the community and learn how to make the perfect chapati.

Day 6 –

Take a tour of the school before heading off to meet a rural community to produce silk. See first-hand the process of making a beautiful silk sari. You will hear the story of the sari and how this incredible outfit is woven in to the lives of Indian women.

You will also meet a community of women who are continuing the traditional embroidery art of mirroring.

Day 7 –

An early start will take you to the beautiful town of Mysore for a rest day where you can stop and absorb the trip and also visit the beautiful, famous flower market called Devaraja Market. Here you can buy flower oils, baskets, dyes and beauitful flowers. We will stay at the celebrated Green Hotel for a real taste of old India.

You will have the option to have henna done at a local and important charity called Odanadi Seva Trust who run a beauty parlour.

Day 8 –

Take the day to explore Mysore solo and make the day all about what you want to do.

Day 9 –

Travel back to Bengaluru ready for your flight next day or take the option of extending your stay and taking the bus from Mysore to Gokarna, a beach resort about 5 hours away.

Day 10 -

Fly back to New Zealand.

Option to travel on: There is an option to travel on after the trip. From Mysore a bus will take you to the West Coast of India where you can stay on the beaches at Gokarna. It is a popular travelers spot and perfect for a couple of days rest. A bus will take you back to Mysore and then another bus can take you onto Bengaluru, where you can fly out of the country. If you take the option to travel on, we will not be able to pay or arrange for your transfer from the end of your trip to the airport.

Other posts

We are proud to be WFTO's member of the month!

We are proud to be WFTO's member of the month!

We had some wonderful news in late September, when we were advised by the World Fair Trade Organisation Europe (WFTO Europe) that we were to be their . . . member of the month for October. This came at a great time, as we were celebrating having been part of this amazing organisation for a year. Being recognised like this by WFTO, means that a wider audience opens up to Secret Projects and our story of women's empowerment in India spreads ever further. The work of the WFTO is so inspiring and so necessary and has members from all around the world working towards the common goal of fair trade in all it's forms, from decent working conditions to fair wages. We are honoured to be a part of this impactful institution and we say a big thank you to WFTO for making us October's member of the month!
Continue reading >
We invite you to Secret Projects first-ever Monthly Meet! 15th October at 10am BST

We invite you to Secret Projects first-ever Monthly Meet! 15th October at 10am BST

We invite you to Secret Projects first ever Monthly Meet! Thursday 15th October at 10am BST We absolutely loved getting together with so many of our . . . Shareholders in the summer for our first ever General Meeting of Secret Projects Community Benefit Society. After the meeting had ended, we of course had a team discussion to consider how the meeting went (we thought extremely well!), what we could improve on and our plans for future communications with everyone. We felt that it had been wonderful to be able to open up a space that allowed people to ask us questions and make suggestions about opportunities Secret Projects might like to consider and, we hit on what we think is a great idea, to invite you all to Secret Projects Monthly Meet! This monthly get-together is open to everyone and, in celebration of the day we pay our Makers each month, will be held on or around the 15th of each month and lasting for 45 minutes, won't take too much of a chunk out of your day. It's going to be pretty informal and as the get-together is for everyone, (Shareholders, Customers, Friends and people who want to get to know us) we won't be discussing information that would only be relevant to Shareholders. The main focus is to give you the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have and give your ideas for Secret Projects. This could be questions about our Maker Community, ideas for new products, stockists and new markets we could approach - anything goes! There is no set formula, stay with us for the entire 45 minutes or pop in and pop out, it's entirely up to you. We will vary the time of the meeting each month, so hopefully we will fit in with all time zone schedules! So, once again as a reminder (!) it's with great excitement that we invite you to our first Secret Projects Monthly Meet on: Thursday 15th October at 10am BST If you would like to join us, please email Margaret at events@secretprojects.org and she will get back to you with joining instructions. We look forward to seeing you virtually later this month! Photo: Secret Projects first Special Meeting of Shareholders, August 2020
Continue reading >

From the Heart of... our Team

We are proud to introduce Shin, Secret Projects Marketing Manager as part of our 'From the Heart of' series.  Through this collection of stories, we . . . want to take you to the centre of Secret Projects, right to our heart to discover what drives us as we journey towards our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities. What keeps us going? What joy and love do we encounter on the way to women's empowerment? Get to know Shin better by reading his interview about his work with Secret Projects and a little about his home life below:    Question: In a nutshell what does your role at Secret Projects consist of?  Shin: It’s so great to work at Secret Projects and I love my job. Firstly, we have got a perfect team and everyone are very responsible. I work here as the Assistant Marketing Manager and my role is to bring more customers in and maintain relationships with our customers.  My day at the office starts with team prayers and then I check emails, our sales and log in to live chat on our on-line retail stores.  I work closely with our management team; my colleagues and they are all amazing. I’ve learned a lot from everyone during my time at Secret Projects and I am looking forward to learning more and more!  Question: Is there a typical day in your role? What does it look like?  Shin: My role here in Secret Project is so varied and I love it. Apart from my main job role, I take product photographs and upload them to our website. I never get bored, as there are so many tasks to complete every day. To conclude there is no typical day in my role!  Question: What did you do before Secret Projects?  Shin: I was doing my MBA and immediately after my MBA I joined Secret Projects. This is my first job!  Question: How does your role at Secret Projects empower you?  Shin: Secret Projects empowers me in many ways. When I joined Secret Projects, I got  alot of training and gradually my skills developed both technical and non-technical with the help of everyone! My managers are like my family to me; they are very motivated and encouraging, they support me in all aspects of my role. The best thing that I will never forgot about is how Secret Projects gave me the courage to face the world.  Question: What do you find most fulfilling about working at Secret Projects?  Shin: The impact that Secret Projects brings to the women of India. Changing the life of many women in India, giving courage to every woman who works directly and indirectly with Secret Projects, upgrading their skills and helping them to become entrepreneurs. I find this is one of the most fulfilling parts of Secret Projects.  Question: Tell us a little about your life away from Secret Projects.  Shin: I am 24 years old now and live in Bangalore India with my friend who was my classmate during my college days. I feel that Bangalore is one of the best cities to live in India. Basically, I’m from northeast India and I have lived in Bangalore for almost 7 years now.  I’m very passionate about guitar and like having a cup of tea in the morning and evening; every day I have to play guitar and it’s a big part of my life. I play a lead guitar in a band which consists of 4 members and we compose our own music.  During my free time I am busy helping my friends to design a website using WordPress. I love learning new things and helping out my friends to design this website really does that!  Why I love Bangalore so much is that the city is surrounded with lots of trees. I love taking a long walk and exploring the beauty of nature. I feel this this city is the right fit for me.    Let's finish with a bit of light-hearted fun!  Question: Dancing or walking?  Shin: I literally don’t know how to dance, so obviously walking and I love walking for a long distance.  Question: Going out for the evening or staying at home?  Shin: I will choose staying at home, since I have to play guitar every evening  Question: If you could have a one-hour telephone conversation with anyone, who would it be?  Shin: It will be Jack ma, founder of Alibaba, his speeches are very motivating and inspirational  Question: As Secret Projects drives people to think about India what do you want to tell the world about India? What do you love most about the country?  Shin: I would say please visit India and explore the beauty of the culture and historical monuments. India has many cultures and many different languages for each state and our cities. People can learn lots of new things here in India  Basically I’m saying I love the culture of India! Ps. You can check out my guitar playing! Thanks for listening.   
Continue reading >