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Welcome to Secret Projects, a UK registered social enterprise, creating work for women in India

Educational Trip to India for Textiles and Technology Teachers: January 2020

An exploration of India and ethical production for teachers

Hosted by Educationalist:

Lesley Pearce 

Secret Projects is a social business training and empowering women in India through the making and selling of homeware and fashion. We invite you to sign up as one of 8 teachers to take part in this trip. Our aim is that most of the teachers will be from New Zealand, where Lesley lives. However, the trip is open to all teachers from all over the world.

This trip is an exploration of traditional dying, block printing, ethical production and women's empowerment. We hope 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.

Itinerary of the Trip

Day 1 – Wednesday 8 January

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 – Thursday 9 January

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 – Friday 10 January

Take part in day 2 of the block printing workshop. Celebrate your printing success with a pizza night and an Indian movie!

Day 4 - Saturday 11 January

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 – Sunday 12 January

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 – Monday 13 January

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 – Tuesday 14 January

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 – Wednesday 15 January

Take the day to explore Mysore solo and make the day all about what you want to do.

Day 9 – Thursday 16 January

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 - Friday 17 January

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.

Costings of the trip

The costing of the trip does not include the following:

1. Flights into and out of India

2. Insurance

3. Visa

4. Vaccinations - It is up to each traveller to seek their own medical advice as to what vaccinations they will need

5. Any drinks bought in the evenings

6. Purchase of Secret Projects product or anything else offer for purchase during the trip

The cost of the trip is $1,570    (NZ dollars per teacher)

This includes:

1. Pick up and drop off at the airport (if no onward travel is desired)

2. All accommodation in hotels or homestays. It will be varied but all accommodation will be clean, safe and charming.

3. Breakfast, lunch and dinner

4. Host (Lesley Pearce) and a guide

5. Tip for the driver

6. Travel through the trip either in auto rickshaws, taxi or Tempo Traveller (mini bus)

Reserve your place on the trip

To reserve your place on the trip, please email travel@secretprojects.org You will be emailed back with a list of payment options including paying by credit card and or PayPal.

You will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of $400 will be invoiced for the balance of the trip on 1 November 2019.

Payment options are as follows:

1. Paying monthly is an option

2. Full payment at the point of reserving is also possible

Important information about the date of the trip

Please note that the arrival day for this trip will be Wednesday 8 January. We are going to suggest that everyone flies out of Auckland Airport on the same Singapore Airlines flight. Flights sometimes get changed and we will be keeping an eye on this.