To all of our friends and Customers,
The situation in Nepal at the moment is dire but relief agencies from around the world are pouring in. Unfortunately it is unseasonably wet, which adds to the difficult situation. And also this catastrophe comes before the monsoon rains which will make it harder for those both in Kathmandu and in the villages who have lost their homes.
Currently we are awaiting word from many of our friends and producers. Communication is very difficult and spotty, at best, however, we have learned directly from some and indirectly from others of their safety. Some we are anxiously awaiting word from. People are all camped outside to avoid the danger of the after shocks which have been many. Everyone is scared.
Right now is the emergency phase that the disaster agencies are trained and equipped to deal with. Later will come the rebuilding efforts. Denise and I and our Ganesh Himal family are committed to preparing for that effort and will do everything possible to help our friends and producer groups in Nepal. They are our family. We will help them to rebuild their lives, homes and their businesses but it will take time.
One thing we do know is that Nepali's have lived with adversity all their lives and they are strong and resilient people and will work together to get through this. But they will need our help and support to go forward. Our thoughts are to provide funding directly to those whom we know and who are in the greatest need once the reconstruction effort can begin.
We are trying to keep communication to Nepal at a minimum at this time since cell reception and batteries are low so we are gathering information from many friends around the globe. At this time we know the following and it changes by the minute:
Revita from ACP texted directly that the staff there is all safe. I heard from Lin Hightower that there has been some structural damage to the ACP facility. We still have no word on Laxmi's group in Kirtipur or on Bhagwati's group in central Kathmandu or any of the children in the education fund project. They all live in out lying areas where communication is difficult.
Chunta, our manager in Nepal is safe and I spoke with her brother in Switzerland a few minutes ago. He had just spoken with her and her family. Chunta recently had surgery and we were worried about her condition now but he says it is fine. Her sister Pemala who we also work with and daughters Kesang and Chimme are also fine and camped all together in front of Chunta's house. We have not heard of the women in Nepalgunj and their situation. We are hoping they are outside of the major earthquake zone.
The producers with the Bhaktapur Paper group we have heard from directly. They are all safe but Bhaktapur itself because it is so old has been hit badly. Sulochana's family home is destroyed and she tragically lost her sister in law and her sister in law's mother. They have 2 small children. We will be looking to help raise funds for the reconstruction of their home soon.
We have not heard directly from Baburam but he has been marked safe on the Nepal earthquake person finder on Facebook. We are anxiously awaiting hearing from him and his group.
We have not heard directly from CBA but have heard indirectly from the finder that Hari's family is safe. We are anxiously awaiting more word from them about all the felt producers.
We have heard directly from Sadle Traders and they and all of their producers are safe and camped out. Their facility seems to not have suffered much damage. Many of the producers are from the Gorkha and Dhading districts which were close to the epicenter so they are trying to make their way back to their villages to help out. We have not yet heard about the young parapalegic men who make the rubber tire bags.
We have not heard any information from our jewelry producers, our tiny group that makes the hand-blockprinted hats, the soap producers, the Drepung monks or the deaf women's project. We are anxious to hear from them all.
We have heard from our knit producers with Amulet and they are safe but no news of their facility.
Our dearest and oldest friend in Nepal, Ram Karki, who we have trekked hundreds of miles with in Nepal is still missing, as are his two sons. Tomorrow we are sending someone to inquire at their schools.
We are sorry that there is not more concrete information but it is almost impossible to get communication into or out of Nepal. We will continue to search for our loved ones but we want people to focus on getting their essential needs met and don't w
ant to use up their precious cell phone batteries. Chunta said there is very little electricity so they are conserving what they have.
We have information that we are trying to get to everyone on our Ganesh Himal Trading Facebook page and on the Conscious Connections-Power of 5 group page. Please friend us and watch for updates there.
Thank you all for your amazing outpouring of concern for Nepaland our producer family as well as the clinic. We are currently raising funds for the clinic through the Conscious Connections Foundation since it was completely destroyed. We will begin to raise funds for reconstruction of producers facilities as events unfold. Rest assured that all of your contributions will go directly to Nepal and that we will provide a transparent accounting of where and when the donations are distributed. We love our Fair Trade community for all you do and your words of encouragement and donations are keeping our spirits up.
This is, to say the least, a difficult time for Ganesh Himal Trading, our staff and us personally. On a practical note we did just get a large shipment from Nepal in early April so we do have stock of many items. We have no idea when our next shipment will be but we will help people get back to work as soon as possible.
Thanks again for ALL you do,
Ric, Denise, Eileen, Sarah, Austin, Michele and the Ganesh Himal family in Nepal.