Ganesh Himal Trading and the Conscious Connections Foundation
In the initial aftermath of the earthquake on April 25th, the Conscious Connections Foundation (CCF) and Ganesh Himal Trading LLC (GHT) partnered together to provide relief and support those most in need. While CCF focused primarily on General Earthquake Relief Projects and the Besari Clinic Earthquake Relief Project, GHT provided support mainly in the area of Artisan Earthquake Relief. GHT’s intimate and relationship based business model allowed them to establish direct connections with many of the producers almost immediately after the earthquake, allowing them to respond quickly and efficiently to the needs of producers themselves, as well as the needs of their villages. Learn more about the relationship between Conscious Connections Foundation and Ganesh Himal Trading LLC here!
A Mutually Beneficial Agreement
As the Chairwoman of CCF and CEO of GHT, Denise Attwood has over 30 years of experience working directly with artisans in Nepal as a Fair Trade and Fair Aid partner. Through her ability to bridge the corporate-nonprofit gap, CCF and GHT were able to utilize these years of experience, while harnessing the power of two dedicated organizations, greatly expanding their impact. Thanks to this initial partnership, CCF was provided with valuable direct contacts in several different Nepali artisan groups, allowing us to help many villages which would otherwise may have remained unaided.
As the needs of the Nepalese people shift from immediate food and shelter to more permanent rebuilding, GHT will begin the process of phasing out of the relief effort, while management is likewise consolidated under CCF. Though it is clear that, without the help of everyone at GHT, the relief effort of the CCF would not have been nearly as successful as it has been, the most pressing issue facing us now, that of rebuilding communities, does not require the assistance of a separate organization. Thus, CCF will be more actively working with these projects in the future.
Below are the artisan relief projects that GHT and CCF partnered to establish and sustain.
Borlang and Ghat Besi Project
Sadle Traders have been a long standing partner of GHT, and many of those who work at Sadle are recent immigrants from the surrounding villages of Borlang and Ghat Besi in the Kathmandu valley. As such, many have family which lost their lives, houses, possessions and/or livestock during the devastating earthquake that took place on April 25th. In Ghat Besi alone, 140 buildings out of a total of 145 were destroyed.
Muktinath Staff Relief Project
Muktinath DE Cargo Pvt Ltd provides consistent, fair, and stable employment to young Nepalis, many of whom come from disadvantaged minority groups in and around the City of Kathmandu. Muktinath is a vital link between the many Fair Trade organizations around the world and their artisans in Nepal.
Harmi Relief Project
Cotton Bag Accessories (CBA) has been a long standing partner of GHT and employs many individuals from a vast array of disadvantaged groups spread throughout the Kathmandu Valley. Many of the felting artisans working at CBA come from villages in, or near, the region of Harmi. Harmi lies nearly 53 miles northwest of the capital city of Kathmandu and 31.4 miles southwest of the Barpak, which was the epicenter of the April 25th earthquake. As such, the region of Harmi was one of the most drastically affected regions, with nearly every village in and around it having been almost entirely leveled.
Association of Craft Producers
When the homes and looms of 12 Association of Craft Producers (ACP) weavers were destroyed in the earthquake, these artisans began an investigation into the construction of a centralized safe weaving center for future work. On June 12th, 2015, CCF wired $10,000 to ACP to be put towards the construction of such a center for the 12 women of Laxmi Maharjan’s weaving group in Kirtipur. However, upon further delieration between the weavers, ACP management, and CCF it was decided that it would be more appropriate for the artisans to divide this money among themselves and use it to reconstruct their own personal workshops and homes. Disbursement of these funds was carried out by a CCF representative in Nepal in September of 2016. ACP also received Solights to be distributed to artisans as necessary.
Padhma Creations Knitters
In the Earthquake of April 2015, 15 knitters working with Yeti Fashions and Padhma Creations all sustained complete or major damage to their homes. Having waited for government help to repair their homes, over a year after the earthquake, they are still living in temporary housing that is unsuitable for living and working in. On July 20, 2016, CCF wired $5,400 to Nepal which was distributed between 15 knitters. As a group the knitters decided to divide the grand so that three knitters living in more expensive Kathmandu received $600 each and the remaining $3,600 was divided equally between the other 12 knitters living in the rural area of Gumda, Laprak.