Latest Updates!

Looking back on 2017
2017 was a challenging and turbulent year for us at Kusala Carpets. We faced different management set ups, legal responsibilities, floods, theft, visa issues, damage of the building, many communication struggles and even local fights. Yet, thanks to all your (mental) support in difficult times, we decided to continue our volunteering and give the factory one last chance to succeed. In the coming weeks we will do all we can to support the community, keep our fingers crossed and keep you updated about the situation. Curious what happened? Keep on reading...

Our goals for 2017 were to provide full-time jobs for 25 people, create a local management team with full responsibility and together with the community decide how to reinvest the profit of the factory in such a manner that all members of the community would benefit (school/hospital/infrastructure etc.).

With this in mind, we started the year with 100% positive energy and we truly believed that this project would be a success. Unfortunately, we already started the year with management difficulties. One of our team members Alisha, who worked more than full-time as the manager of the entire factory, made a choice of a life-time and left Nepal to marry her husband in the USA  ❤ . For this reason, a new manager from Kathmandu was introduced to the community. However, communication between the community and the new manager were difficult and stiff, which probably contributed to a lack of motivation and responsibility on all sides. Furthermore, because of visa issues late 2016, there have been a couple of months where none of the original founders of Kusala Carpets where in Nepal. Later this year, we came to know about lies that were told during months by several people and organization with different interest about Kusala Carpets. Amongst other things, members of the community started to believe that we were exploiting the workers and kept all profit for ourselves.
For these reasons, community members lost their trust in Kusala Carpets and silently started to protest.
These unfortunate realities created mistrust between the community and us which made it tremendously hard to keep the factory running.
With the aim of solving the situation, we organized several meetings with the community and their leaders to get a deeper understanding of their thoughts and feelings, and to listen to their proposals for improvement.

During the same time we also involved professionals in the field to be able to find the best solution.
Ultimately, together with the leader of the community, the decision was made to move the management of Kusala Carpets to the locals in Selang, instead of having an experienced manager from Kathmandu. This also took them a step closer to independence over the factory and they could learn about all aspects of managing a factory that we did until then. We believed that this would result in an increase of motivation and feeling of responsibility on their side. The first weeks were promising, Kusala Carpets had a new local manager, new orders, and everybody appeared happy and motivated to work. Five new orders were received and the carpets were supposed to be finished within 45 days.
During this month, we decided not to visit the factory as this would interfere with their new independence and responsibility. However, we agreed to stay in touch through weekly phone calls. Yet, these were barely replied. We received complaints from the person that gave them the orders, as he still kept us responsible for the job, and when after 45 days we returned, only 2 carpets were finished and wool was lost.
This was very bad news, so we organized another long meeting with the community where they excused themselves saying that it was election time and that they were busy with other things. Two more orders were received, but only one was finished. We decided to wait and see if now that the elections were finished, they would adhere to the deadlines. However, again orders where not finished in time and there were multiple mistakes in the design which lowered their salary.
As we realized that the mistrust between different parties was still not resolved, that the community still looked at us as having final responsibility and motivation to work 'for us' was lacking, we needed to drastically change the roles.
Looking back at the past months, we saw that we could have done things differently. Due to our low budget, we were always looking for volunteers to help us with translations when it could have been better to employ a Nepali person full-time to help us with all communications and interactions. From August on, we employed a Nepali girl from Kathmandu, Manson, who already knew the community and worked in Selang before.
With her help, we started our final strategy: the community was offered the opportunity to create a committee of at least 7 people to officially register a non-profit organization on their name. This group would be in charge of the full management of the factory without any of our intervenience. We made a mutual agreement that we would receive a monthly rent of 2.500 npr (20euro) for the building, the land and looms. We agreed to a time-frame of half a year, after which we would evaluate together with the community if this strategy is beneficial and if all involved parties are satisfied. We also stressed that if this final strategy is not working, we would have to close the factory and end the project.
Straight away they told us they definitely wanted to take this chance and continue with the factory, and within a week a committee was formed, they found new orders and a total of 16 people started weaving carpets again. For us this was the highlight of the year, as we had started to believe that the community did not want to have a carpet factory in their village after all, and this new wave of motivation suggested the opposite was true. At the end of September we left Nepal (again visa issues) and ever since the factory is in full hands of the community. We are looking forward to the year 2018, as this will be a crucial year for Kusala Carpets. At the end of this month we will go back to Selang to discuss with the community how these last months have been for them, if we can support in any way and see if all agreements have been met. Depending on this evaluation, we will decide together with the community what the future of Kusala Carpets will be, continue or closing.
Happy new year                                                                          ​02-01-2018

Team Kusala wishes you all a happy new year!! 2017 was a beautiful year with ups but also downs, lets make 2018 even a better year. We are very grateful to all people that believed and helped us with this project, thank you very much!

But we are not finished yet, soon we will be back in Nepal to continue. So why not starting off your year with helping one another? Donate your last €/$/£/¥/Bitcoin to 'Stichting Stand by Nepal - NL54 TRIO 0390 414948' 

Video                                                                                 ​08-05-2017

Manel Gz and Maeva Aguilera, a beautiful couple that loves to travel and discover new places not just as tourists, but also through their involvment in local, social projects. On one of their journeys they came to Selang and made this beautiful video to show Kusala Carpets to the world. 

Don’t forget to have a look at their
travel blog! It will surprise you! 

New orders                                                                                 ​03-05-2017

Finally we can say that all the effort, patient and work done during the last months made a result. Material for five new carpets are now on their way to the factory. Also we are starting with a new management. Lopsan, a guy from the camp and who has experience in the carpet industry will be from now on responsible to make this factory running again; organizing the workers, the orders, make sure that the carpets are finished on time, etc. He will get all support and help from us during this time and we wish him best of luck!

New team member                                                                    ​26-04-2017

We are very happy to welcome our new permanent team member Michèle Stebler from Switzerland! Since last year she is been helping the project in construction, fundraising and many more things. Three weeks ago she came back to Nepal and took the bus directly to Selang to support the team on the field. Tomorrow she will fly back to Switzerland and will continue working for Kusala carpets at home. Thank you Michèle for everything, have a good flight and hope to see you soon back in Nepal!

Read here more about her.

Lack of trees                                                                                ​22-04-2017

Although we are full of motivation and energy to start the reparations of the factory building, we encountered some problems. It took a longer period of time than expected to organise different building materials. A big problem is to find the wood, for the expansion of the roof. The situation in Nepal is complicated, because the deforestation happens partial uncontrolled and the fast clearing of the forest causes landslides in the time of the monsoon. It takes a long time for the forest community to provide wood for us, because the government made a shortage of timber in the Sindhupalchowk region. Fingers crossed that we will soon manage to buy wood! Until then we will keep working with the community and enjoy the beautiful snow mountain view in Selang camp
For further information read the following article:…/timber-shortage-halts-… 

Started                                                                                     ​13-04-2017

Today, we happily started with the reparations! 7 locals and 7 volunteers worked together to finish the floor. Anyone who likes to join in the coming weeks, please send us a message, all help is welcome!

Reparation of the building                                                       ​04-04-2017

Over the past few months, our architect Pauline Merlet has spent a lot of time to prepare the improvements of the factory building. Much to our regret, the early and heavy monsoon last year caused damage to the walls. Even though the structure of the building is safe, we will adjust the roof to protect the walls for the coming monsoon. On the pictures, you can see the damaged walls and also Pauline's great detailed plan to solve all building problems. In the coming weeks we will be very busy with converting this plan to reality, fingers crossed we will find enough funds to finance it all!
If you have any ideas or contacts on how to find funds, please shoot us a message, and for anyone around Nepal, you're welcome to join as a volunteer!

Welcome                                                                               ​04-04-2017

With great pleasure we would like to introduce you to our two fresh team members. Doug Crabtree, our friend who helped us last year with our blanket project in Selang and who will help us as a professional construction worker, and secondly Aj Zizou Gautam, a funny and easy going Nepali who will help us as an all-rounder and translator. Thanks for joining our team and looking forward to start working together!
Clean UP Nepal                                                                     ​31-03-2017

On Tuesday, we met with the executive director of Clean UP Nepal, a non-governmental organization that aims to solve the escalating problem of plastic pollution in Nepal. In Selang, we also face a lot of problems with waste as there is no organised manner of waste processing. Hopefully, in future, we can work together with Clean up Nepal to educate the kids and their parents about seperating waste and the dangers of burning plastic, to introduce up-cycling plastic into beautiful products and to turn Selang camp into a clean and healthy environment again
Viajandonuestravida                                                              ​30-03-2017

Volleybal, creative drawing, fun games and a real cinema, the kids in Selang love this! We would like to give a big thank you to Maeva and Manel, from  Viajandonuestravida , who joined us last week for a few days and helped with organizing a special entertainment day for the youth of Selang camp. Their enthusiasm and commitment were contagious, thanks again. If you would like to come to Selang Camp too, you can! We will soon be looking for volunteers to repair the building, shoot a message if you're interested, hope to see you in Selang!
An update                                                                           ​29-03-2017

Last week, 4 of our team members travelled to Selang Camp to plan the future together with the villagers and three professional development workers. Several crucial decisions were made: from now on Selang people will also be in charge of finding orders, managing workers and arranging payments. Furthermore, in the coming 2 months we will (together with the villagers) take care of the reparations of the building after it became damaged due to the early monsoon last year. For this, we will focus on fundraising and we hope that you can help us by spreading the word about Kusala carpets! More updates coming soon:)
Back to Selang Camp                                                    11-02-2017

After two weeks in Kathmandu, meeting different people and hearing different points of views, we went back to Selang Camp to investigate how the villagers perceive the factory process, which improvements can be made in the building and what the community needs at this moment. Biggest aim of this trip: find out how to make this project even more succesful.
We realized that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but we strongly believe that it is worth it,as this factory can make a change to these people's future!

Part of the team is back in Nepal                                     30-01-2017

After long flight and long time waiting for this moment, we are finally back in Nepal!
Now full of energy and with the aim to continue improving the live of our friends from selang camp we are back to help on the ground Alisha and Puspa that during the last months have done a hard job to set up the factory while we where in europe finding funds and waiting for 2017 to be able to go back again. Until now we are entering the country with a tourist visa that only allows us to stay 5 months a year in Nepal.
We, together with your help, will make the dream of making the people of selang independent again come true!! 

First carpets on their way to Kathmandu                  25-10-2016

We are very proud of the people in Selang! They finished weaving the first 6 carpets and the carpets are now on their way to Kathmandu. Our friends received their first real salaries from Kusala Carpets and will be able to take care of their families by themselves this month. Thank you all for your support so far!
The History until now
Chapter two                      31-08-2016

Feb-Mar-April 2016. We had a plan; we were going to build a carpet factory where more than 50 people of the camp could work and get a salary. Later on, we were going to sell the carpets and invest all the benefits to improve the community. Selang Camp used to be a forest but after the earthquake more than 120 families were forced to move due to the destruction of their villages.
We were full of enthusiasm to make this dream/project reality but we had lot of work to do before to start. We went around Kathmandu to see different carpet factories, we looked for customers, we made the proper registration papers to be able to start and we looked for funds. This was the most difficult part. We sent messages and emails to a lot of people and organizations but it’s difficult to be trust when you haven’t started anything. After two months and thanks to the people that believed in the project and in us, we had enough money to make a not very expensive building. Then it came the second challenge, find an architect or an engineer that wanted to volunteer and take the responsibilities of the building part.
After some meetings and a lot of phone calls we got the contact of an engineer expert in natural building, Ahmed. After meeting him and a flow of energies he decided to join the project. Next day we started to work on the building options and materials and with Pauline, the architect that also joined. The following days we worked all of us without stopping and a week later we were going to Selang to start to build the factory.
Chapter three                       02-09-2016

May-June. The construction of the Carpet factory began on Sunday 1st of May 2016 and took us around 6 weeks to build. Ahmed (engineer and COB specialist from Australia) and Pauline (architect from France) designed and supervised the building construction. Carla and Alisha were managing logistics, materials, transportation, workers, volunteers... and everything that is needed for such a big project.
Workers on the building site were mostly people from the community of Selang Camp (who received a wage for their labour), along with a few international volunteers.
The construction itself was divided in different steps. After digging the trench for water drain and the foundations holes, strong foundations were built : walls footings and wooden posts.
After that, the timber structure was built up, made from the wood of the forest nearby. The roof consists of CGI sheets, which makes it light in case of an earthquake. The walls are made of straw filling in between bamboos which are covered by several layers of COB (soil, sand, lime..).
This method of construction is using natural resources while being light and earthquake resistant.
Alongside the building part, movies and workshops about construction design and COB technique were displayed at night to the community. The construction process really involved the locals and they improved the building technique with sharing also their own knowledge.
ettings menu will appear. Selecting 'Edit Text' from this menu will also allow you to edit the text within this text box. Remember to keep your wording friendly, approachable and easy to understand as if you were talking to your customer
Chapter one !                       29-08-2016

As we said, we want to share our little adventure with you. Here it comes the first chapter 30-1-2016
Last year a lot of people lost everything with the earthquake and some of them even spended the cold winter of Nepal in bad isolated tents without enough blankets to warm all of the family.
At the end of January, with the help of Doug, two of us, Sofie and Karla drove with two trucks filled with blankets all the way to Chautara. On the way Alisha decided to join us. Following the instructions that Sindhupalchowk Red Cross gave us, we arrived in Selang Camp (2.200m height) after a 3 hour drive. Over there, the people received the blankets with a big smile. We were very happy to had the opportunity to reach Selang camp with the blankets as we could feel the freezing nights and the bad conditions of the tents, but we were conscious that this was not the final solution for them.
During our stay in the camp, they explained us that a lot of people used to work in the carpet industry before the earthquake. They asked us to bring looms to some of the families so that they could work and sell the carpets.
Back in Kathmandu we met up with Sophie and we decided that we had to plan something for these people. We wanted to make a sustainable project to improve their chances in future and to make them independent from ngo’s

Chapter four                         06-09-2016

After completing the construction of the factory, we bought 5 looms in Kathmandu, with a cost of 450€ each. The next challenge was to bring them up to Selang Camp, but the conditions of the roads didn’t help. The roads’ conditions are always very precarious in Nepal, but the monsoons season make them even worse due to the heavy rains. Therefore, for a couple of months the bus didn’t drive to Selang Camp and even the truck could only go half way, so we ended up carrying the looms by foot.
Fifht and final chapter      07-09-2016

August. Finally, they are able to start working and start to make a living for themselves again!
This is all possible thanks to you, we are very grateful <3
This is the very first carpet they were asked to weave, which is now finished !! 
We are very proud of the workers of Kushi Carpets factory.
Time for a celebration !                                                 26-08-2016

We would like to share the big celebrating moment with all of you. Finally after months of great effort by Kusala carpets team and massive help from all of YOU, people of Selang have started weaving the first carpet.
Our dream to make displaced victims achieve a sustainable life is coming live. We believe in community's potentials and strengths, helping them to achieve a better life by making them work for themselves with our little care and support is our main goal.
This is a trial carpet and in few weeks all 32 people will work in all five looms. Even thougth, we still need five more looms for 64 people, we need to construct toilets and build a fence around the factory.
This are some of the reasons why we still need your help.
Looking back at the accomplishments we made so far while building Kusala Carpets, we felt like sharing something about the history. With pride we look back at the last few months, and with this feeling we are going to share a daily new part of the Kusala adventure with you! Stay with us and keep on loving and supporting us.
Result of the building !                                                 24-07-2016

We are very proud to show the sustainable positive result of the Kusala Carpets Social Factory. This factory can produce more than fifty jobs for the people of Selang Camp
Carpets produced from Kusala Carpets Factory will be sold and all profits from selling them will be used on sustainable community development and looking into more income generation opportunities for the people of Selang Camp.
We would like to thank our big and smalls donors for their support to make our dream of helping Selang Camp people by giving them sustainable working place to recover long term.
New Clothes                                                                20-07-2016

Children in the villages of Sindhupalchowk district only buy new clothes once a year at a festival. They hardly remember the last time they bought new things themselves. This weekend we brought them new clothes. The excitement and smiles on their faces make us smile too 🙂. Thanks to Shiva Shrestha, Leyla, Andy, Sneha and Puspa who donated these clothes!
Monsoon                                                                  14-07-2016

In Nepal the monsoon started again a while ago, the country is currently being plagued by massive rains. This causes major problems in some parts of the country, including Sindhupalchowk, one of the most affected areas. A few days ago the BhoteKoshi river flooded and swept away 15 houses in Tatopani. Parts of the road and bridge were damaged, which caused even more landslides. Good news about this flood is there are no reports of injuries or deaths. Bad news is the infrastructure, which is already very unstable, was damaged even more. This also happened with the road from Chautara (closest biggest village) to Selang, which they can not use anymore. Luckily the people from Selang are safe, but their lifes got a little bit harder due to the damaged road; it’s the only one they had.
This is not the only part suffering by the monsoon, several landslides occurred for example in the west part of Nepal where 33 people died and hundreds of people are missing.
Community working day                                                  26-05-2016

Since we started building the Kusala Carpets Factory three weeks ago, we have around 15 to 20 local people working with a small group of fantastic volunteers.
As our budget is very low, we decided together with the community to organize a Community Working Day where a lot of people of Selang Camp donated a day of labour with the hope that this factory will be finished very soon.
After all the positive energy that was flowing in the factory, next day we organized a Buddhist ceremony for Buddha’s birthday which ended with lot of fun and dancing.
The people of Selang Camp need more hands and funds to finish this building.
If you want to come and help feel free to send us a message either in facebook or in and if you want to donate (even 1€ is possible) visit: all help is more than welcome!
Update                                                                                     17-05-2016

Two weeks into the project, Ahmed and Pauline, the engineer and architect lead the Kusala Carpets project.
Building a factory from scratch is hard work!
Digging canals for the canalization of water and holes to put the pillars, coordinating trucks of sand, gravel, straw and bamboo to the camp.
Even building the shell is a process on its own: choosing the trees, cutting, transport and working on them.
And while the project is being funded soley through donations, the hard work and dedication of the team is helping make the Kusala Carpets project vision a reality.

Ready to start !!                                                                    27-01-2016

Namaste! Tomorrow early in the morning we are travelling to Selang again. This time with a backpack full of equipment, a solar panel and with two great architects. Looking forward to see it all happen!

One year after                                                                     25-04-2016

Today it is one year ago that the devastating earthquakes in Nepal killed nearly 9000 people and left a million more homeless. As the general mindset of people in Nepal is to help eachother and make progress together, we look back at a year full of positive bottom-up vibes. We have seen the start of many small projects that really make a difference, and of course there was the birth of our own Kusala Carpets. We believe this year will bring even more goodness to the country, and we are happily looking forward to a future in which Kusala Carpets supports the villagers in Selang!

GREEN LIGHT!                                                                         22-04-201

Step by step towards the establishment of Kusala Carpets factory with everybody's help, we went with 2 amazing geologists who volunteered to help studying the land and approving its validity for building the factory, and confirmation has been given; green light granted!

*Moment of Celebration*

Let us introduce:                                                                 18-04-2016

We are happy to introduce you to Amit Shrestha and Bikash Phuyal; two very helpful geologists. They came with us to Selang Camp this week to check-out the condition of the land on which we plan to build the factory.
Is it strong and safe enough to build on?
Hopefully the answer will be yes and we can start soon with building!


    We are offically registrated

Trip to Selang                                                                     25-03-2016

Hi everybody! The trip to Selang was very enjoyable and rewarding. We were welcomed with open arms and the people were full of positivity. Several landlords kept on waking us up in the night to talk about the project and offering their land for free. However, we have to check together with a professional whether the land is safe enough to build a factory. Luckily, we have enough options to choose from!
As if this project is meant to be, we found a very friendly and hardworking manager in the village that has owned a carpet factory before and knows our main customer personally. This is a great twist of fate as these people already trust each other which will make the first steps super easy.
Even though our trip was short, we had time to play with the adorable children in the village and we cannot wait to go back again. We really hope that many people will support this project so that these villagers will have a better future!