Looking for special gifts for Christmas? How about fine crafts from Nepal and Uganda?

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  • Kathmandu Kids Club Chair Kim Carter with children in Nepal.

    Kathmandu Kids Club Chair Kim Carter with children in Nepal.

You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to find exotic Christmas gifts this season.

Authentic Nepalese pashmina scarves, teas from Tibet and handcrafted silver jewellery are as close as the City of Hamilton at the annual Kathmandu Kids Club Christmas market on Friday.

The market raises money for the ISIS Foundation, a local charity that aims to help children in the developing world, mainly through health and educational programmes in Nepal and Uganda.

Goods are obtained through several channels.

“On two separate years I was doing volunteer work in Nepal and Uganda for the ISIS Foundation and brought goods back,” said KatKids chair Kim Carter. “There are also local ISIS staff on the ground in both countries who source the products for us and they ship the goods to us.

“This year we are doing that and have a variety of sources. Using locals helps as they have all the local knowledge when it comes to sourcing goods.”

An example would be jewellery made by a Nepalese man called Dambar.

Dambar is Dalit, the lowest caste in Nepal, meaning ‘untouchable’.

As a young boy, Dambar worked in a silver factory from 5.30am until late at night, pounding and firing silver as needed by his shop owner.

One day, a buyer from Holland who was importing silver jewellery from the factory noticed the intensity and purpose with which Dambar worked to perfect each item.

When the buyer decided to set up his own silver factory, he immediately hired Dambar to run it — a virtually unprecedented opportunity as usually only higher caste people would ever be allowed to become silversmiths.

The jewellery now sells to buyers in America, Australia, Holland, Germany and Canada and Dambar makes it his policy to employ and train other lower caste people like himself.

There will be a special stall at the market devoted to his work, which includes silver with semi-precious stones.

“We have a lot more products this year that will appeal to a different age group,” said KatKids events manager Francesca Cacace. “We have a kids’ shop and a tea shop and an incense shop. We have lots of different themed stalls.”

Tamisha Greene of Ambiance Designs Studio is helping to decorate the market to make it as much like Nepalese or Ugandan market as possible.

“The Christmas market will be an ideal way to make a start on your Christmas shopping while all the net proceeds from the evening will go directly and undiluted to the ISIS Foundation projects, helping children in serious need in both Nepal and Uganda,” Ms Cacace said.

“There will be plenty of opportunities to find ‘one of a kind’ gifts, while supporting a good cause at the same time.”

There will be mulled wine and Christmas carols, and performances by the Bermuda School of Music and African Dance troupe Bermuda Donquili.

There will also be a silent auction of original art work, hosted by Jon Beard; an original painting by local artist April Branco will be raffled.

“The unique atmosphere of the KatKids market, happy hour drink prices all evening and the low $10 cover charge, will make this night one you absolutely should not miss,” said Ms Cacace.

Sharon Beesley, co-founder of the ISIS Foundation and president of KatKids, said attending the market was a great way to get a feel for what ISIS does in Nepal and Uganda.

“ISIS has been able to make a positive difference to the lives of thousands in Nepal and Uganda, thanks to the generosity of Bermudians,” she said. “We are very grateful for the support of KatKids which has been fundraising for the ISIS Foundation for over six years.”

The market opens at 5.30pm on the fourth floor of the Washington Mall.

Tickets are $10 and can be bought in advance on www.premiertickets.bm or from the ISIS Law office on Crow Lane or Mambo on Reid Street.

Tickets will also be available at the door, payable by cash only. Organisers strongly recommend buying tickets in advance to avoid disappointment, as tickets are limited and Kathmandu Kids Club events have sold out in the past.

The silent auction aspect starts at 7.30pm.

Useful website: www.kathmandukidsclub.com.

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Published Nov 28, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm)

Looking for special gifts for Christmas? How about fine crafts from Nepal and Uganda?

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