The single brick wall building in a yard
Salago’s connection with Nepal arose some 5 years ago and to put what follows into context: in Nepal, free education is not there as a right and there is no social security. We had an appeal to help the Grace Orphanage in Kathmandu. At this time the orphanage had a yard about 40 metres x 40 metres along one side of which, was a single brick wall roofed with galvanised iron. This was the home of 12 children and their carers – like a hot oven in the summer and a refrigerator the winter! Their kitchen was of an open car port construction in the yard.
The children on the roof of their next building just before the earthquake
How we Help
Salago was asked if we could try selling some embroidered suedette bags so that some of the profit could go the orphanage. From that very small beginning it has now grown to be over 12% of our whole turnover, and is still growing. The range of goods expanded from those few bags to a far wider selection of leather and hemp ones, but also silver and Tibetan styled jewellery, garments, scarves, Nepalese slippers, wool accessories, singing bowls, felted slippers, gifts and even their national board game of Tigers and Goats. Some of the products are even being wholesaled to other retailers.
The new orphanage on the outskirts of Kathmandu
Shortly after our association began, the orphanage moved to a more conventional, building, then came the earthquake and for that summer, the children were in tents. With their former building being unsafe, they were offered another but only for a limited time. Tremendous fund raising in the UK by Dasrath Rai, who himself had been an orphan from the age of 13, has resulted in a newly constructed orphanage on their own land on the outskirts of the City.
When our customers buy a Nepal sourced product they help the orphanage and it is so much what we feel business should be about – human relationships. Money is one of the tools, not the objective. The objective is helping each other, whether it be to bring the consumer interesting products at a good price, or supporting children who life has made orphans.