Association for Craft Producers

Association for Craft Producers (ACP) is a nonprofit group that provides design, marketing, management and technical services to low-income artisans, the majority of them women, providing regular, fair wages. In addition to a central production and design workshop, the association maintains a full-time staff. ACP also owns retail outlet called Dhukuti in Kathmandu, Nepal. ACP has successfully balanced its business priorities with a strong sense of social obligation. Producer benefits include medical and counseling services, a savings program and retirement fund, paid maternity and paternity leave, education allowance to encourage education especially of daughters, low-interest loans for producer groups, clothing and household allowances, and seminars on health, nutrition and women’s rights.Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from ACP since 1987.

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Seeds of Hope

Ram Devi still has vivid memories of the hardships she encountered before joining ACP. Married at 18, Ram Devi expected to rely on her husband’s family for support. Instead, her father-in-law gambled away the family farm. She remembers the helplessness she felt when she could not give basic meals to her children and the frustration she felt when she could not visit her sick mother because she did not have money for the bus fare.



Against the initial wishes of her family, Ram Devi joined ACP in 1992. Now, at 35, Ram Devi works as a trained wheel ceramicist -- a skill normally considered to be man’s work. With the income she earns making dragon pots and other ceramic items, Ram Devi supports her whole family. Two years ago she bought her own wheel and started working on orders at home for additional income.



Ram Devi can’t even contemplate how life would be, had she not found work. She is determined to pay off the family debt, which has increased eight-fold. Thanks to ACP, Ram Devi is hopeful that someday in the near future she will have her house back.

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