The exposure trip to the Khweng community in Ri Bhoi, conducted by our ally, the North East Network (NEN) Shillong, on the 16th of March, 2021 was one that truly brought together the essence of community building through mutual assistance; Kong Rikynti Syiem from the Nangkrysoi Self Help Group (SHG) brought to the limelight the work that they have been doing and through the process of Value Addition, teaching the local communities the true value of their precious crops. Going hand-in-hand with the North East Network’s core objective of women empowerment, the conversation also revolved around the importance of financial independence of indigenous women and the upliftment of the same. The 10 SHGs from Nongshillong and Nongstoin were not only awestruck by the sheer efficiency of the Nangkrysoi SHG but also saw and experienced the superior quality of locally sourced and manufactured products such as candies, jam and wine.
A decision was made to facilitate training for the interested groups and to boost the infrastructure of the Nangkrysoi SHG. A delightful and hearty lunch at Kong Dial Muktieh and Kong Plantina Mujai’s Mei-Ramew Cafe concluded the exposure trip and left the participating groups with a rekindled sense of inspiration; they went home with plenty of local products from Khweng and also a newfound interest to initiate livelihood activities in their respective regions.
At the end of the visit Batskhem Lyngkhoi (42), from Umsaw Community, West Khasi Hills, said “I am very happy to see active participation from various women Self Help Groups, this goes to show that we can work together and learn from each other and apply the latest techniques acquired from this exposure into our product development.”