GoodWeave reports that its field team in Nepal has reached 67 weaving factories and 2091 workers with food and supplies (as of 7th May), following the set up of the GoodWeave Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. Each day the Nepal team is now reaching on average 14 factories and 400 workers, in addition to taking inventory of damage to the rug weaving infrastructure. GoodWeave is also delivering mobile medical aid, working in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme. 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. The Kathmandu Valley was badly hit by the quake 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 says: “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 initial earthquake, 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 here.