Modernization is slowly penetrating even the most remote corners of the earth, and few places are as remote as Phrobang Village in India's High Himalayas. Located less than 40 miles from the Chinese border, foreigners can only access the village via a special permit issued by the Indian government.
When the center officially opened its doors in 2015, the goal was to not only provide ongoing employment for the village women, but to also provide a facility where they could bring their children to play in a warm and safe environment.
From the beginning, Konchok Stobgais and Linda Cortright, co-founders of the center, (Stobgais is also a resident of Phrobang) wanted to create an economic opportunity for the women that would be compatible with their traditional lifestyle, allowing them time to still work in the fields, tend to their animals, and raise their families.
The focus is on bringing a high quality product to the market, while supporting a deeply threatened way of life.
Nomads in the 21st century
More than 120 families live in Phrobang Village and for centuries they have survived by raising cashmere goats, growing what little food is available in an all but barren landscape, and most of all on their own wisdom of the land and self-reliance. Few women over the age of 40 have ever attended school, many do not know how to read or write. They all possess great dreams for the future. Their children will be educated. Their grandchildren may even go to college. And someday, this tiny community in the High Himalayas will produce doctors, engineers, and leaders of the free world.