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.

More

We have been named one of the top 100 Social Enterprises in the SE100 Index and Social Business Awards run by NatWest and Pioneers Post

We have been named one of the top 100 Social Enterprises in the SE100 Index and Social Business Awards run by NatWest and Pioneers Post

We have been named one of the top 100 Social Enterprises in the UK in the NatWest Bank SE100 Index and Social Business Awards. AND WE COULDN'T BE . . . PROUDER! We entered the competition earlier this year and put it to the back of our minds. We knew that we had done a good job with the application, highlighting our strengths as well as our plans for the future. However, the competition was going to be tough as there are so many brilliant Social Enterprises out there! Then the news came through that we had been named one of the top 100 UK Social Enterprises! We genuinely went into a bit of shock for a couple of minutes, wondering if what we were seeing was real! And then we screamed a little! This award means so much to us and, without wishing to sound like we are giving an Oscars acceptance speech, we wouldn't have recieved this honor without the unfailing support of our Customers, Shareholders and Friends. So, it's a well done to each and everyone of us. What is the SE100 Index and Social Business Award? The SE100 Index and Social Business Awards is run by NatWest Bank & Pioneers Post every year to name, celebrate and learn from the UK's 100 most impressive social enterprises. Learn more about this award here. What does being named one of the top 100 UK Social Enterprises in the SE100 Index and Social Business Awards mean to us? So much! It's wonderful to get a recognition that what we are doing is making an impact by such a presitgious organisation and award. To be counted in with 99 other excellent social enterprises is just wonderful and we want to give a shout out to all the top 100. It's so tough for social enteprises in this current climate and to receive this honor has really boosted our spirits, so thank you to the SE100 committee for recognising our work and to the entire Secret Projects team for working so hard our social enterprise the impactful organisation it is today.      
Continue reading >
Introducing our latest editorial creation - News from India

Introducing our latest editorial creation - News from India

Introducing News from India We are delighted to introduce our latest editorial creation - News from India, dropping in inboxes every 6 weeks. What's . . . it all about? News from India, begins with an update and introduction from Secret Projects India Director, Sumathi and is packed full of news about what our Makers (the name we give to the women who lovingly stitch our Ranges of Clothing and Homeware) are working on, how you can help us in our mission to empower women in India, plus lots of other information and announcements. With Heart With Heart, our long standing, monthly e-newsletter will still continue to be sen but will now mainly focus on our products, offers and new products. How to sign up to receive News from India and With Heart Please click the link here to sign up to receive both News from India and With Heart. If you already receive With Heart, you will automatically be sent News from India. Subscribing to News from India is one of the best ways to keep up with all things Secret Projects India and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as Sumathi and the team enjoy putting it together.   Photo: Sumathi's update from News from India. 
Continue reading >
Update on Molly's Sewing Unit - the producers of our Secret Sari Dress

Update on Molly's Sewing Unit - the producers of our Secret Sari Dress

Update on Molly's Sewing Unit – the producer of the SSD (Secret Sari Dress) Molly, as many of our Customers and Friends know, heads up her own sewing . . . unit in West Bengal, where there is an alarmingly high rate of human trafficking and provids young women with stitching work, who without an income are more at risk of falling into the hands of trafficking gangs. When we met Molly, (a number of years ago now) through an NGO, we knew that she was the perfect person to begin making our Secret Sari Dresses (SSD) and we worked together productively for over 2 years. She is very special to us, along with the young women. The effects of the pandemic for Molly and the unit When the pandemic hit, things became difficult for Molly and she had to temporarily close her unit to work as a Quality Controller in a garment factory, between lockdowns to provide money for her family. Throughout this time, we have kept in touch with Molly to support her. Molly has now been able to reopen her unit and has had some orders, which is great but things are still tough. She has been granted an export licence, which is no mean feat in India and we are so proud of this massive achievement. Our Finance Director, Banke is coaching her in how to effectively use this license as it will be hugely beneficial to her business. Future plans... We really want to be able to give Molly and the young women orders for more SSD's but before we are able to do this, we need to clear the current stock we have. So we can give work to Molly as soon as possible, we are offering 2 for 1 on all Secret Sari Dresses. Choose one for yourself and one for a friend (or keep both!). How it works... Choose your dress and go to the checkout and in the note box tell us the size and ideal colour way you would like for your second and free of charge SSD and we will do our best to match! It's like a managed lucky dip!!! The offer is available on all SSD's. Please note, the offer is currently only available for delivery to UK addresses with payment in Sterling. To shop, please click here What happens next... Once we have cleared the stock, we will work with Molly towards putting together brand new Collections of SSD's, which is such an exciting prospect and we all can't wait. Molly sends her love to everyone. Photo: Selfie taken by Molly (on far left) with some of her Makers. (Photograph used with permission.)
Continue reading >