If you remember, we did a fundraiser back in June for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. We sent the money we raised to one of our trusted suppliers who decided to visit Nepal shortly after the quake. Our supplier, Daryl, helps to support several families in Nepal by purchasing their goods at fair trade and bringing them back to Canada to sell. As soon as he heard about the quake he was in touch with 'his families' and found out their homes had been destroyed. He sent them money straight away but felt he needed to go there for moral support and to see how else he could help out. Here is an update straight from Daryl himself:
"First let me extend a most heartfelt thank you from myself, from the Nepalese people and from everyone who participated here in Canada. I am convinced we are a nation of generous givers ...I am at times most embarrassed by the government of our country but I am always so very proud of the Canadian people. The grand total of all fund raising appears to be $5700...wow eh!!! That's Canadian for sure.... A special thank you to the owners and staff of a pair of stores in Calgary called Divine Mine...they were responsible for the creation of the fund raiser and for the organization of a really large donation...Thanks... I was also very surprised how people that I have not seen in 30 years stepped up to the plate with great support...I guess that speaks to the power of social media in fund raising...Interesting events took place in Nepal while I was determining what to do with the money you donated....I have to mention all the people from all over the world who were simply coming to help in Nepal...They did not come with a large amount of money but they did come with a big desire to help...usually they would camp out in the devastated villages and each day they would do what ever needed to be done....most often that amounted to cleaning up the mess from all the shaking of our earth shaking
Our first picture is of Sital passing out school bags and books to a school that is being reconstructed. Sital is the man who makes all my handbags and also the man who opened his factory to families needing a place to sleep after their homes had fallen down.
The second picture is Sital passing out cold hard cash to people who worked in his factory and were from devastated villages...the purpose was to give cash to people who needed to go back to their original villages...the villages were completely destroyed and families were waiting for the factory workers to come home and help with reconstruction....we found that Kathmandu was being focused on by the government while the devastated villages were largely ignored....so yes my friends ...I focused on the villages..
The third picture is taken by a man who works for me called Jagat. Jagat went to a village called Dhading and passed out money to the villagers living there...Dhading was almost completely flattened and in need of total reconstruction... 2 months after the earthquake almost nothing was being done for the people...It was decided that Jagat would quite simple go to Dhading and help the people as best he could...I wanted to go but it was a really rough and long trip and I have in the past found that I am a liability in such arduous situations, so I stayed in Kathmandu.
The fourth and fifth pictures are homes from Dhading and quite representative of the type of destruction there..
The 6th and 7th pictures are direct from the Kathmandu Post, the local newspaper for the day I left Nepal...I had been struggling to express and summarize what had been experienced and felt during this trip to Nepal. I realized that the writer of the article had similar feelings to mine and had done a very fine job of putting it into a single article...as such I send you a copy of that writing.
The hardest part was deciding what to do with the money donated to the cause...I wanted to be very sure the money was not wasted as the need was great. ...what I finally came to understand was that the people in need knew best...so I gave them the money...Their gratitude was overwhelming and I made sure that they understood that it was money from Canadian friends ...I would appreciate your input and again I want to thank you all for entrusting me with you gifts to Nepal...Daryl"