The non-profit organization Label STEP promotes fair trade with handmade carpets and works towards better working and living conditions for the people in the carpet industry.
Label STEP is active in Nepal since 20 years. The devastating earthquake has hit carpet weavers, workers and their families hard. Numerous workshops and living quarters have been damaged; the workers currently live in tents on the factory premises. Because weavers are paid in piece rate they are without income every day the industry stands still. These people already belong to the underprivileged in one of the world’s poorest countries, the wage loss makes their lives even harder.
Carpets are Nepal’s most important export product, generating a much-needed 65 Mio USD income for the country. The carpet industry is concentrated in Kathmandu but most weavers come from remote rural areas. Hundreds of thousands people in the capital and throughout the country depend on the wages earned by their family members in the carpet mills. Worries about the situation of their relatives in the home villages also affected by the earthquake and the lack of information from rural areas make the lives of weavers even harder.
Label STEP supports the people in the carpet industry through its well-established office in Nepal. Emergency aid has already started and aid packages are distributed to hundreds of families. Furthermore Label STEP supports weavers to get in touch with their families in the villages. Experts will examine the damaged manufacturing units and living quarters and assess if the buildings are safe in case of aftershocks. This should enable weavers to return to their houses and workplaces as soon as possible. Planning of longer-term reconstruction activities have already started and will be specified based on the information gathered and needs identified these days.
Your donation will help the weaving community in these difficult times effectively. It is also an important contribution to support the carpet industry picking up its role as a pillar of the country’s economy and important income generating opportunity for the people of Nepal.
Label STEP and its Nepali Team will ensure that all donations received will benefit the earthquake victims to the full extent. Administration of the fund and organization of the projects will be covered from Label STEP’s regular budget.