As I sit down to pen these few lines to you, in this season that is traditionally one of celebration and thanksgiving, I find myself confused and disturbed. I begin to wonder whether this is a season to mourn or celebrate. During the past few months, thousands of people in the world have lost their own lives or the lives of their dear and near ones to a Pandemic that has rendered life extremely difficult for millions around the world. Once again it is the poor who have suffered the most with their jobs taken away and with very little compensation for the misery they endured. Life has been very difficult for the poor in the unorganized sector,e.g. those who work as rickshaw pullers, domestic helps, agricultural and construction labourers, etc. who are yet to return to their pre-pandemic level of daily earnings. It would seem that most of of them might not be able to celebrate this Christmas.
However, as the Christmas story reminds us, even those who have no place in an inn can bring joy to the world. And so, as we draw near to the close of the year 2020, there are reasons to be grateful that many of us stood for our neighbours and families, closely watching over and protecting them, bringing joy in the lives of each other. We, at Creative Handicrafts, remain grateful to those who continued to reach out to us and ensured that life goes on for the many who are associated with us and thus kept their joy kindled. The great initiatives of “Fair Trade” has ensured that our women continue to receive some work at least even during this pandemic.
The Pandemic has, of course, definitely affected Creative Handicrafts as well. Our domestic sales suffered immensely with absolutely no sales during the last 8 months. The shops are open now. However, there are very few customers. Asli Food faced the worst. It was shut for the past 8 months. We have reopened it now with a few women but orders for food are limited. Export orders are also facing the same challenge with the sales of our buyers dipping, with the consequence that their order value dropped considerably. However, many of our buyers continue to look for ways and means to support us and that vindicates “Fair Trade” as THE way forward. A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU, OUR PARTNERS AND FRIENDS.
We are definitely staring at difficult times ahead in keeping the organization and the livelihood of the women unscathed. We have continued to financially and materially support all who depend on us to tide over this crisis. For this too, the support that we received from YOU, our partners and friends, has been overwhelming. And we definitely need your continued support as we will have to do a lot of re-starting and re-engineering to remain afloat.
In this context I would like to tell you about the Isabel Martin Foundation, which is an organization established in Spain in the name of our Founder Sr. Isabel to support Creative Handicrafts and many other organizations. IMF has been supporting us immensely to tide over these Covid times. If you would like to support us in our efforts please visit the link https://fundacionisabelmartin.es/donar/ and follow the instructions. It will be easier for you to make a donation to this account as you will benefit from tax exemptions and the same will be consolidated and passed on to us. Please mention that the donation is for Creative Handicrafts. Further, you may share this letter with your friends and well wishers. Thank you for your continued support and love. Please keep yourself safe.
As we enter the new year, we look forward to continuing the good work that was initiated some 35 years ago by our late founder, Sr. Isabel. I take this opportunity to thank each one of you who have been a part of our efforts, in small and big ways, in making this world a little less unequal place. Wish you all a Joyous Christmas and a very peaceful New Year 2021.
For all at Creative Handicrafts