This past Saturday a horrific natural disaster struck the heart of Mata Traders’ artisan community. A magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook Nepal just after noon, with a strong aftershock occurring an hour later. Buildings were flattened, centuries-old temples were destroyed, and an earthquake-triggered avalanche on Mount Everest killed 17, injuring over 60 others. Smaller jolts hit the region for hours afterwards, leaving many buildings unstable, and causing panic among the people. Thousands have taken to the streets, sleeping outside in the rain and cold to avoid further building collapses, and access to drinking water and food remain a huge problem. With survivors still being pulled out of the rubble, it will take days until we know the full impact of the quake. It will take many years until the densely populated, and largely impoverished Himalayan country can come back from such a horrible event.

(image credit: The Guardian)

With the death toll reaching 3,218 people at the time of writing, and with over 6,500 others injured, it’s no wonder many of you have asked what you can do.

At this point, we’ve received word from many members of our cooperative in the area that they are safe, though due to power and cell network outages communication is difficult and word is still coming in. Many have suffered losses in their extended families and there is extensive damage to their homes and communities.

If you’d like to support the relief efforts in Nepal, we’ve turned to organizations that we see providing effective global help and who have already committed efforts to the area. Donations can be sent to Church World Service, Oxfam, or the Red Cross.

Feel free to check in on our Facebook and Twitter pages– we’ll update when we have more information.


Our partner producer group in Nepal let us know the best way for people to help them directly. They said Fair Trade Group Nepal, the national network of fair trade organizations in Nepal, is going around to the most affected producers and communities to bring food and relief to the people with the most need right now. You can donate to them by bank transfer (information below), or SERRV has also begun to collect funds for the same co-op, as well as three others they work with. You can add to SERRV’s collected funds here:

Beneficiary Name: Fair Trade Group Nepal
Bank Name: Nepal Investment Bank Ltd.
A/C No: 004-05010253611
Address: Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal
please acknowledge by email to
Sunil Chitrakar ( and