Apil 25, 2016

This week marks the one year anniversary of Nepal’s great earthquake. Many of the artisans and businesses we work with at Karma are from Nepal and so we’d like to dedicate this month’s newsletter to their initiative and the role they play in supporting Nepal’s communities. We hope you’ll take a moment to update yourself on the status of rebuilding in Nepal and invite you to visit one of our locations to enjoy the work of our many Nepali artisans.

This Monday, April 25th, marked the one year anniversary since the 7.8 earthquake that leveled much of Nepal, killing 9,000 people and leaving more than 3 million homeless. While it’s easy here in the US to turn one cheek and hope that Nepal is rebuilding, the headlines such as “Rebuilding Progresses Slowly” or “Millions Still Lacking Shelter” brings us back to reality. Unfortunately, Nepal’s government has failed to rebuild even a single permanent structure or home and has yet to distribute the $4.8 Billion of international aid money.

Earthquake Destruction

Earthquake Destruction at the Nunnery

As most of you know, Karma works very closely with countless Himalayan artisans and many of us at the shop have friends, relatives, and business partners who were severely affected by the earthquake last year. Yak Mountain Looms, an association of artisans from remote areas of Nepal and Tibet that supplies us with handwoven crafts, was deeply shaken when weavers and artisan nuns lost their entire nunnery during the earthquake. Located in a remote area of Nepal, 200+ nuns received no government aid when their homes and institution crumbled and the Yak Mountain Looms founder himself helped to relocate all of these women to shelter camps in Kathmandu. Here you can see just some of the destruction from their village and the camps that the nuns were moved to. Unfortunately, these camps in Kathmandu are still packed with earthquake survivors and the government has done little to help them rebuild permanent homes.

Nunnery Pre-Earthquake

However, this story of Yak Mountain Looms is an example of the beautiful community that arises when working with artisans on a more personal level. A piece of our mission here at Karma is to connect the consumer not only with their product, but with the artist who made it and the world they come from. When we purchase an item from Yak Mountain Looms, for example, we do so because we care about the story behind it and supporting the artisans through whatever turbulent turns they may be dealt. So whether through an earthquake or through the rebuilding process, Karma continues to support our partners and remembers that every item in our store was made by human hands.

Thank you for your awareness and compassion as consumers and fellow humans.

Nuns at Temporary Shelter in Kathmandu

Nuns at Temporary Shelter in Kathmandu