2010 was a hard year for me. I grew an enormous amount and found strength within myself I didn’t know I possessed. The biggest lesson that I learned throughout the year is the importance of love in our lives. I was absolutely showered with love by those important to me and I would not have made it through my challenges without their amazing support. More importantly, because of the love I received I am able to love my son, and myself, whole-heartedly every day. So as 2011 begins I’ve been reflecting on my continued development while thinking about how I want to run my business. 2010 was a great year for klc photography and I’m so proud to report that my business has literally tripled in one short year. 80% of my business is through referrals and word of mouth – again, I couldn’t be where I am today without all of your support. So, I want to give back, if even in a small way. I’ve joined Kiva – a microlending website that allows you to donate as little as $25 to entrepreneurs around the world. The loans are paid back so you have the option to re-lend and increase your impact. I love this idea and it reminded me of an amazing experience I had while in Pokhara, Nepal. This is Tara:
She is the founder and owner of the Chetana Women Skill Development Project. It’s a long story – so here’s a quick break-down. Tara lived fairly prosperously with her husband but had trouble becoming pregnant. She went through various fertility treatments and had two children. A few years after the birth of her second child she was diagnosed with cancer in her uterus (supposedly) due to the treatments. She came very close to death and when she survived she wanted to change her life and the lives of women in her country. Nepal has a very weak economy and depending on their caste and family, women have very few opportunities to make a living. Through the Chetana Women Skill Development Project (CWSDP), Tara hires women, often single mothers, puts them through a training program and then employs them making bags and other woven products. She runs the company as a cooperative with her employees receiving a portion of the profits. Furthermore she helps the children of her workers attend school (education can be a rarity in Nepal) and provides a supportive and positive community for her women. I was so honored to spend a few hours listening to Tara’s story and humbled by her commitment to help her fellow countrywomen. Here are a few photos from my visit.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’ve started a Kiva lending team in the name of klc photography – please visit my team page – and I’m going to donate $10 for every engagement/family/etc shoot and $40 for every wedding. If all goes well by the end of the year I hope to have donated over $600! I of course encourage you to check out Kiva, join my team, and make donations of your own. And please read more about Tara and her work at Weaving For Life.
I will stop at nothing to make 2011 a wonderful year for myself, my son, my clients, and maybe even some deserving strangers around the world.
There is more in us than we know