ACYD Alumna Danma is getting her hands dirty creating a social enterprise, Maya Mountain

Danma has been moving from strength to strength since her time as an ACYD 2011 Delegate and 2012 Speaker. Danma has recently embarked on a crowdfunding campaign for her social enterprise, Maya Mountain. 

Inspired by her nomadic Tibetan lineage, Danma founded Maya Mountain in 2015, which is a social enterprise aimed at equipping Tibetan women with skills and opportunities to become self sufficient. Danma's initiative produces 100% natural soap, handcrafted by the Tibetan Soap Ladies from locally-sources yak milk. 

Born to a herding yak family and growing up in a small village on the edge of the Himalayan Plateau, Danma said that for a long time, the only future she could see for herself "involved bearing children, herding livestock, fetching water and collecting wood for fuel. 

"The remote wilderness of the snowy Himalayan mountains is home to sacred traditions, rituals and cultural practices. But what is rarely talked about is the deeply ingrained patriarchal nature of Tibetan society, where gender roles are firmly defined."

Danma "observed first hand the realities of gender inequality, where women took on the most menial yet difficult of tasks.

An ambition for education, independence and self-empowerment saw Danma, at 19 years of age, to lead a community project that brought running water to her village for the first time. 

A crowdfunding initiative to pursue education in Australia has given Danma the platform to mobilise Maya Mountain with campaign launched in July 2016 to fund the development of a safe and permanent facility for the Tibetan Soap Ladies to continue producing the soap. 

With great plans to break down traditional gender barriers and empower Tibetan women the opportunities she's pursued following on from ACYD have provided a great platform to build this success. 

Congratulations Danma.