Nota bene: This post was heavily revised on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 to reflect information available at that time. I spoke with a colleague in Kathmandu earlier this morning and while most of his family are safe, others remain yet to be located. He further reports their homes are destroyed, and the immediate concerns of shelter, food and medicine are top priorities.I would like to stress that many of the efforts listed here will have longer term benefits to Nepal, whereas others benefit the short term needs of the country. Consider donating to organizations with existing infrastructure and the ability to service these immediate needs first, then give to other efforts with longer term impact. Finally, please remember that the long term success of rebuilding will only be helped by your continued business with Nepal. So, to begin again as it were, an uncredited quote from our friends at floordesign in San Francisco via facebook…
‘Rugs can be rewoven – it is the lives of the people who matter.’- Unknown
There was to have been the beginning of a multi-part feature on Authenticity here on “The Ruggist” today, but in its stead, we must focus on less academic concerns, and turn our attention to those in Nepal.
For years our rug industry has benefited from the hard work, skill, and culture of the people of Nepal. So many of us and so much of the high end of the contemporary market owe their success and existence to this magical place, that it is imperative, both from a business and financial perspective and from the simple fact that we are all humans, that we take action to help those in Nepal. Now is the time when we collectively give back. No me, no you, just us! People helping people.
The enormity of the situation in Nepal defies a single solution. No one organization, no one group, no one person, ideology, religion (or not), country, or effort is going to accomplish all that must and will need to be done. I’m not proposing we try and rebuild the entirety of Nepal, I’m proposing that we help were we can. And that’s within our extended circle of friends, colleagues, suppliers, and the like, all of the people who make what we do possible. Let’s work together (however that is) as an industry to make possible their lives and future livelihoods. Let’s ‘Give back to Nepal.’
In adopting the tagline ‘Give back to Nepal’ (#givebacktonepal), The Ruggist is not sanctioning or endorsing, nor encouraging you to give to any one particular relief effort. But, I am calling upon you to give monies, time, skill, or whatever you know how and can, to the effort. Furthermore, I hope that you will use this message, of giving back, to spread the word of immediate need, and as the days, weeks, and months ahead unfold, to remind all of us, of the long term efforts that Nepal will need.You’ll notice I’ve stressed the importance of doing something tangible to help Nepal. Give money, give your time, give your talent. Give the things that immediately and physically help those in need. But also, as a dear friend said: “If you pray….”
Below is a list of rug industry specific efforts already underway to help those in Nepal. The list is not exhaustive, and will be updated as more information and efforts become available. If you, or your company, are spearheading any effort, or would like to be put in touch with someone who already is, please email me at: The Ruggist and I will post the information here.
I’ve corresponded with Ryan Higgins of Tamarian and they, like many others I’ve spoken to, are working within their own supply chain to help those closest to them and will be soliciting reaching out to their clients in a fundraising effort. Beyond that, Mr. Higgins has expressed interest in a broader industry wide effort to assist in the long term recovery of Nepal – a solution I strongly support. If you’re interested, you may contact Ryan Higgins at Tamarian: 1-800-854-0538, via his email (if you have it) or as noted above, you can email “The Ruggist” and we will forward your email accordingly.I’ve been advised by Steve Cibor of Tamarian that Ryan Higgins will be en route to Nepal later today to assess the damage to and needs of the rug industry first hand, and further that The Oriental Rug Importers Association has graciously offered their assistance as a clearinghouse for relief donations. Mr. Cibor has indicated that Tamarian will obviously be talking with other exporters in Nepal and will be assisting as they can. More information of this as it becomes available.
Beyond industry help, please do remember that the Nepal Cleft and Burn Center has been working in Nepal since 2002 and is on the ground ready to help those in need.
Tamarian launches “The Phoenix Fund for Nepal Relief”
Update: Tuesday, 28 April 2015 6:37PM ADT
Tamarian has launched “The Phoenix Fund for Nepal Relief” in order to raise funds for those affected by the Nepali earthquake. As, dare we acknowledge, the major player in Nepal it’s imperative that Tamarian effectively start the recovery process so that those most in need not only receive immediate help, but also receive longer term help in order to rebuild their lives and their livelihoods as time progresses. From their letter “Our mission statement is simple: The Phoenix Fund for Nepal Relief is a 501c3 dedicated solely to the aid and recovery mission of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. One hundred percent (100%) of all donations will be distributed directly to the Nepali people in need.” I may not always like or agree with everything Tamarian does, but we must acknowledge good when it happens.
For your review, their announcement:
By now, we are sure you are aware of the tragic loss of life and devastation that Nepal has suffered. As a company, Tamarian has built our business in partnership with our many friends and co-workers in Kathmandu whom we view as our extended family. The outpouring of your condolences and sincere desire to help that has been nothing short of remarkable. This has been a trying time and without our own ‘feet on the ground’ it is difficult to completely comprehend the full magnitude of this tragedy.
We are happy to report that Ryan is currently on his way to Nepal with hopes to be landing in Kathmandu tomorrow afternoon.
More so, we are proud to announce that The Phoenix Fund for Nepal Relief has officially been established and is ready to receive donations. We are in the process of applying for recognition of exemption from the Internal Revenue Service. Our mission statement is simple: The Phoenix Fund for Nepal Relief is a 501c3 dedicated solely to the aid and recovery mission of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. One hundred percent (100%) of all donations will be distributed directly to the Nepali people in need.
Any help toward this cause is greatly appreciated so you may visit our webpage www.tamarian.com to use our PayPal or donate with a check.
Checks can be made payable to ‘The Phoenix Fund, Inc.’ and should be mailed to:
1407 Shoemaker Rd
Baltimore, Md. 21209
Over the course of the coming months, we will keep you fully updated in regards to our activities. In the meantime, please check our Facebook page of Ryan’s journey to Nepal.
Please do not hesitate in passing this message along. Your effort in spreading our word to help this cause is greatly appreciated.
Again, thank you for all of your support and we look forward to using the Phoenix Fund to help all of those in need in Nepal.
Steve & Ryan
You can donate to The Phoenix Fund for Nepal Relief: Here
Fort Street Studio
With significant experience working in Nepal, GoodWeave is spearheading and facilitating a donation campaign to assist those in Nepal. The funds donated will be separately managed from GoodWeave’s general operating fundraising and will only be used for Nepal with minimal administrative costs to be covered. Funds will be used to support:
- Urgent needs of weaving families – food, shelter, medical etc.;
- Re-building of GoodWeave schools, rehabilitation centre and other program infrastructure to ensure schooling isn’t interrupted for an extended period (which obviously only exacerbates child labor concerns…)
- Support for carpet exporters for rebuilding infrastructure, possibly a loan fund in addition to direct financial support, depending on the extent. Editors Note: As this is early, and the actual long term needs are yet to be known, this is subject to change.
To donate to GoodWeave’s effort you can follow this link: Donate here!
I spoke with John Kurtz and Erika Kurtz early this afternoon (Monday, 27 April 2015) and they advise that their weavers are safe, though, as to be expected, there was some structural damage to buildings.
Warp & Weft
I corresponded with my dear friend Michael Mandapati at Warp & Weft on Saturday when news of the earthquake first reached me. At the time he reported that he had spoken with friends and suppliers in Kathmandu and would be helping those affected. Today, his generosity extends further. This is the email from Warp and Weft sent just a short while ago:
We are devastated by the disaster that happened in Nepal over this weekend. Our prayers go to all the people of Nepal and, naturally, the weaving communities that make the most beautiful rugs in the world.
We are still waiting to hear the news from all our manufacturing units and will notify any affected orders accordingly once the clear picture is seen. So far we know that the production sites are only moderately damaged.
This very moment we have to concentrate on sending immediate help and relief to the people most hurt. Starting today, 15% of all our stock and custom sales proceeds as well as balance payments on pending orders will be sent directly to the families we know and distributed in the most efficient way.
To send help immediately, please kindly consider a contribution to these organizations that are deeply involved with the artisan communities of Nepal and who we trust will make the most difference in restoring the damages and relieving the tremendous pain that the natural disaster has left.”
Our friends at Jan Kath in New York are accepting donations on behalf of Label STEP and will forward the donations to the organization due to Label STEP only being able to accept wire donations. This is the letter they sent earlier:
We have been following the heartbreaking news about the earthquake and its aftermath in Nepal in the past days. Jan Kath Design has been working with rug manufacturers in Nepal from the company’s beginning. Many of our collections are produced in a rug making facility in Kathmandu. The weavers and their families in that workshop are part of our tight-knit Jan Kath community.
We are extremely grateful that our carpet weavers and their families were not harmed by the earthquake. We are still evaluating the impact the earthquake might have on our production and delivery and will notify everyone whose orders may be affected individually as soon as we have all details.
Our priority is to help our weavers with the recovery efforts.
Please consider a donation to help rebuilding Kathmandu and all the affected towns in the Himalayas.
Here are two organizations that are on the ground to help the earth quake victims with food, shelter, and medicine and need help with donations.
CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere)
LABEL STEP: Label STEP is raising a fund to help the carpet weavers and workers affected by the disaster. Label STEP and its Nepali Team will ensure that your donation will benefit the earthquake victims to the full extent. As STEP only accepts donations via wire transfer, we are collecting donations at our New York show room that we will wire to the organization’s Nepal fund. Please contact us if you want to contribute.
Thank you very much for your consideration!
The Kyle & Kath Team
The Oriental Rug Importer Association
Lucille Laufer, Executive Director of The ORIA has sent an email to its members with an overview of their fundraising efforts, and how the monies will be distributed. The email reads as follows:
‘We have reached out to a number of ORIA Members who have operations set up in Nepal to find out the best way in which we can help the people devastated by this weekends’ earthquake there. The ORIA will collect money through our ORIA Charitable Fund, and 100% of all monies collected will go directly to hospitals, orphanages, schools, water irrigation systems, food, medicines and shelter on the ground in Nepal. We want our donations to go directly into the hands of the people who need it most. Once I have more detailed information on what those initiatives will be, I will let you know….. but, in the mean time, if you would like to donate to the ORIA Charitable Fund ~ Nepal Relief Effort, please do so by sending your check to my office. Please make your check payable to the ORIA Charitable Fund, which is a 501 c(3) Tax Exempt Organization. We are also in the process of setting up a web page on the ORIA website with a PayPal link for our Members who wish to donate that way. I will send out another email with more details as they become available.”
Contact information for The ORIA follows:
The Oriental Rug Importers Association, Inc.
400 Tenafly Rd, #699
Tenafly, NJ 07670
Tele: (201) 866-5054
Fax: (201) 866-6169
The utter concern in the tone of the email from Reto Aschwanden, Managing Director of Label STEP, sums up the emotions I feel as we only being to understand the scope of the situation in Nepal. A brief synopsis of his email:
“After learning that our team and their families are fine we are now gathering information about how severely the exporters, producers, weavers and workers are affected. At the moment the situation in KTM [Kathmandu] is still very chaotic, internet seems down in most areas, phone as well. Cell phones work sometimes, sometimes not. But as there’s no electricity more and more phones batteries are empty with no possibility to recharge…
We hope to have a first overview by tomorrow night. Before we don’t know how the situation in the workshops and living quarters really look we cannot say how the funds are going to be used exactly. It just seems very clear that a lot of money will be needed considering the huge damages caused by the earthquake.
All I can say today is that the funds will be fully used for projects benefiting weavers and workers; Label STEP will not touch a single cent for administration or other purposes not directly linked to the disaster.”
Label STEP has an open call for donations. The information can be found below, or on their website: Label STEP
Call for Donations Earthquake Nepal
On 25 April 2015 a powerful earthquake with its epicentre near the capital Kathmandu has occurred in Nepal. The catastrophe has caused high casualties and devastating damages. Label STEP is raising a fund to help the carpet weavers and workers affected by the disaster. Label STEP and its Nepali Team will ensure that your donation will benefit the earthquake victims to the full extent.
Thank you for your generous support!
Step – fair trade Teppiche, Bürenstrasse 12, 3000 Bern 23
IBAN: CH82 0900 0000 9103 3804 4
Account No.: 91-33804-4
Step – fair trade Teppiche, Bürenstrasse 12, 3000 Bern 23
Post check account: 85-752319-5
IBAN: CH28 0900 0000 8575 2319 5
Reference: Earthquake Nepal
For more information please contact Reto Aschwanden, Label STEP Managing Director:
Tel. + 41 61 273 41 93; firstname.lastname@example.org
Care and Fair
Via Tim Steinert (CarpetXL Magazine) on facebook:
‘I believe we all heard about the terrible earthquake in Nepal and are shocked by the news we get from there. Care & Fair, the initiative of the European carpet trade has set up a account for donations. If you want to help please use this account details from:’
Förderverein CARE & FAIR e.V. – Nepal earthquake aid:
IBAN: DE27 2003 0300 0647 9719 99
BIC: CHDB DE HH XXX
Doctors without Borders
The immediate need for medical care is urgent. Doctors without Borders is already in the field with more teams due to arrive in the next several days. Donations can be made via their website.
Other OrganizationsThe New York Times has an extensive list of Charities and Non-Governmental Organizations you can donate to. The list can be found here: New York TimesPublic Radio International has taken a more selective approach and prepared a list of vetted (we assume by them and their research) list of Charities working in Nepal. The list can be found here: PRI