STEP’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund Continues to Support Weavers

The fight against the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet. In many rug and carpet producing countries, including India and Nepal, COVID-19 infections are surging again. The latest wave of the pandemic is hitting weavers in South Asia particularly hard.

Your ongoing support will help weavers and their families through this crisis.

More than 16,000 people reached so far, but the need is still great

Label STEP’s relief activities have already reached more than 16,000 weavers and their family members in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan with:

  • 175,000 daily food rations;
  • 3,300-plus food packages containing 30 tons of rice as well as other food items and sanitary articles;
  • comprehensive awareness campaigns about the crises, preventative measures and available health services;
  • long term support in the form of financial literacy courses that encourage budgeting, saving plans and opening bank accounts to better prepare weaver families for future crises.

Your donation will enable us to continue these crucially important initiatives. Please give whatever you can by clicking on the link below or by bank transfer. Your donation will be greatly appreciated by the weavers and their families whose wellbeing depends, in large part, on your generosity.

Donate online

Use our online form to donate by credit card or PayPal:

Donate by bank transfer

You can also send us your donation directly as wire transfer:

Bank: PostFinance AG, Mingerstrasse 20, 3030 Bern, Switzerland
Beneficiary: STEP fair trade Teppiche; Bürenstrasse 12, 3007 Bern
IBAN: CH28 0900 0000 8575 2319 5
Bank Code: 9000
Account No. 85-752319-5

Background Information

For centuries carpets have been woven by hand according to ancient traditions. Today, rug and carpet weaving continues to allow millions of people to earn a living and remain connected to their cultural heritage through this artisanal work. Unfortunately, carpet production has been temporarily brought to a standstill by the coronavirus.

Weavers and their families have been hard-hit by COVID-19

Since weavers are among the carpet industry’s most vulnerable, they are most affected by this global crisis. They are paid by the piece which means they receive no income without a carpet on the loom. And since wages are generally low for weavers, only a few are able to build up savings to even attempt to weather a crisis like COVID-19. Many come from remote areas with weak economies, rudimentary infrastructure and poor health care. Often they belong to religious or ethnic minorities, most are women, and many are migrant workers. As a result, they are frequently cut off from their families and social networks.

No security and few supports for weavers

As a so-called informal industry with a large number of home-based workers, the handmade carpet industry as a whole is unjustly denied access to many social security and aid programs. There is also far less awareness about rug and carpet making than there is about more established industries such as the fashion industry.

Label STEP has been “stepping up” for 25 years

As a fair trade organisation, Label STEP has been committed to ensuring good working and living conditions for carpet weavers for 25 years. STEP’s years of experience and exceptional network mean our Swiss non-profit organisation has unique access to thousands of carpet weavers in Afghanistan, India, Iran, Nepal and Pakistan who are not assisted by any other aid initiatives or organizations.

Your support means the world

In order to help as many weavers and their families as possible survive this unprecedented crisis, we depend on your continued support. Your generous donation will be used efficiently and responsibly to support weavers and their families in need.

Through our website, we will continue to keep you informed and updated about our ongoing relief efforts.

On behalf of carpet weavers and their families, thank you for your help during this difficult time in our shared history. We are grateful for your support.

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