Following the recent major earthquakes in Nepal, GoodWeave reports that its field team in Kathmandu is reaching 10 to 15 rug factories and production sites per day. It is documenting any visible damage, talking with producers, tracking the number of workers who have stayed and gone and taking note of what support the site may require. Nepal GoodWeave is delivering tents, food, water and medical care to staff and workers left at work sites and documenting who they are.
GoodWeave is also working in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme to deliver mobile medical aid. Nina Smith, executive director of GoodWeave has made an appeal for donations to keep funding its vital work.
“The financial donations of our rug industry, here in the West, are vital to deliver crucial aid and support to the impoverished weaving community in Nepal,” she says. “The Kathmandu Valley has been badly hit by the quakes and with it the weaving industry of Nepal.
“With the leadership of our country director, Lubha Raj Neupane, GoodWeave is directly managing its own aid delivery and rebuilding efforts. Our organisation is in the unique position of having a significant team and network already established and trusted amongst producers and we are already making a real difference to thousands of people in the weaving community.
“Rug weaving is Nepal’s largest export industry. The UK imports tens of thousands of hand-knotted rugs from Nepal each year. I hope that the long standing trading relationship the West has enjoyed with Nepal translates into financial support at this its time of urgent need.”
GoodWeave’s Nepal Program Officer Binita Paudel reports: “When I try to talk to weavers, I feel their painful voices filled with tears. Those who were already under the poverty line, had weak house structure and have little to eat. They have been more affected by the natural disaster.”
GoodWeave has an office in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, from where it runs its child-labour-free rug certification scheme, child rehabilitation centre (Hamro Ghar) and extensive education programmes. Whilst all of its staff and the children survived the earthquakes, Hamro Ghar was badly damaged and living conditions for most people are reported as appalling, with insufficient fresh water, power and other vital resources.
The GoodWeave relief Fund has three key aims:
– To address the immediate needs of the children at GoodWeave’s rehabilitation centre, schools and weaving families. This includes shelter, food and medical care for up to 16,000 people in the GoodWeave community.
– Rebuilding of GoodWeave’s infrastructure, to minimise the interruption of schooling to 785 children.
– Provide support to rug exporters, to help them rebuild the necessary infrastructure to resume making and exporting rugs, so vital to Nepal’s economy.
The GoodWeave Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund is an international fund. Donations in the UK can be made at: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/support-vulnerable-victims-of-nepals-earthquake or donations can be made at http://www.goodweave.org/earthquake