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New Internationalist fair-trade supplier hit by Nepal earthquake


© Pachamama

My colleagues and I at the New Internationalist editorial office in Oxford are sometimes asked if we can make a donation to various causes.

With limited resources, in terms of both time and money, this isn’t often possible.

However, our growing ethical trading ventures (see our online shop) have meant a steady increase in our purchasing of fairly traded goods over the past few years.

In turn, this has brought us into direct contact with small communities around the world. A couple of years ago we started asking our shop customers to top up their orders with a donation to a ‘Fair Trade Fund’, which would enable us to support fair-trade producers beyond simply buying their wares.  

Last week, we were approached by Pachamama, a fair-trade company which supplies us with knitted goods from small communities in Peru and Nepal. First reports from the devastating earthquake in Nepal on 25 April indicated that no members of their small producer groups had been hurt, although many of their homes had suffered structural damage and, afraid to return to them, people were sleeping outside.

Pachamama pledged to send substantial additional funds to Nepal and decided to give this money to the Nepal Earthquake Recovery Appeal 2015, set up by the Bulldog Trust.

Alison Marston, who works for the Trust, was born in Nepal, where her family has lived for 40 years; she speaks Nepali as her first language.

For the past 15 years, she has worked on various charitable and humanitarian projects in Nepal and has now returned there to collaborate with local NGOs, charities and government to assess the areas of highest need and organize the rapid dispersal of funds.

Her immediate aim is to provide funds for small, grassroots organizations that are unable to access major international funding streams.

The New Internationalist has decided that this small-scale approach deserves our support, so we have donated £500 ($785) from the Fair Trade Fund to the Appeal.

Staff at Pachamama have now been shocked to discover that at least seven of their knitters were killed in the earthquake; this figure may grow.

Those who died were in a small town not far from Kathmandu called Bhakatpur.

We have already placed all our catalogue orders for this year, but we will shortly contact all our suppliers of Nepalese goods to see what more we can do to help.

If you would like to help this small-scale humanitarian work, you can donate via Pachamama here.

Or you can send money direct to the Bulldog Trust via bank transfer or cheque to The Bulldog Trust – Sort Code 15 99 00, Account number 10048750 (Reference: Nepal 2015).

If you would like to keep up to date with recovery efforts, please follow Alison Marston on Twitter: @QuakeNepal.

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