The double earthquake drove Nepal into a deeper crisis than the country had before. Being already a poor country, now it has to deal with an economic damage of $7 billion, which is more than half of the country’s GDP.
Since handmade carpets are one of the most important and largest export industries in Nepal, employing 60,000 people from the poorest regions of Nepal, it is important to help rebuild this industry.
Even before the earthquake carpet weaving families were living in vulnerable situations, many having migrated from villages surrounding the Kathmandu Valley where they could not earn a living. Many faced challenges such as low wages, so when the earthquakes struck and they lost their homes and near-term income, this community became increasingly at-risk of debt-bondage and human trafficking.
As is our philosophy for all development projects, Give2Asia believes that local organizations are best suited to implement community-based programs for long-term recovery. That is why we chose to fund the Nepal GoodWeave Foundation to help address the needs of the carpet weaving community following the earthquake.
GoodWeave has been dedicated to ending child labor and improving the lives of carpet weavers and their families since 1995. GoodWeave works with 300 small to medium size rug producers, and all now face business interruption and various types of damage.
Give2Asia’s recent grant will help GoodWeave cover the most important and urgent needs of the weavers and their families:
425 families of the weavers from severely affected areas such as Dolakha, Makwanpur, Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk and Nuwakot completely lost their houses.
Many weavers had to leave jobs in the factories to go back to their home villages and support their families. This resulted in lost income for weavers, as well as a ripple affect in the industry all the way up to the rug retailers and showrooms who are waiting to deliver orders to their customers. Our grant will help the weavers to rebuild their houses by providing building materials and other support, enabling weavers to return to work and resume income generation.
Educational support is another important aspect of recovery following a natural disaster. There are many families staying in temporary shelters who face difficulty affording the school fees required for their children’s education. Part of our grant will provide financial support for weaving families to ensure that children are enrolled in school. This will also help to ease the burden of caring for children by making it possible for the parents to return to work. The grant will assist families in paying for education-related expenses such as school fees, stationary, uniforms, lunch money for ,one year until parents are able to regain their ability to take care of the kids’ education themselves.
The carpet industry workers are mostly from poor communities and face many financial challenges. Living in such poor conditions, this community is already highly susceptible to psycho-social trauma, which was only exacerbated by the earthquake. To address this issue, the final portion of this grant will help to provide mental and emotional support to weavers and their families, helping them recover from the trauma experienced during the disaster.
Weaving families were vulnerable before the earthquake and now face uncertain futures. This grant will help them to address urgent needs and ensure that families are supported as they seek to get back on their feet and maintain their livelihoods.