The past few days have been a tough one for our world. On Saturday, Haiti experienced a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 1,900 people, injured thousands, and shattered homes and local infrastructure. On Sunday, Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, fell into the hands of the Taliban.
In Haiti, TTM has had the honor of getting to know many fantastic makers and artisans. These suppliers offer steady and safe work to communities where employment opportunities are sparse, and help keep families together by giving parents the opportunity to earn the funds they need to keep their kids healthy and safe.
As you’re likely reminded this week, Saturday’s event was not the first major earthquake to hit the nation in recent history. In 2010, Haiti was hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck just outside of Port-au-Prince, and that slow, painful recovery process is still fresh in many Haitians’ minds.
Saturday’s earthquake and resulting aftershocks hit cities like Les Cayes and Jeremie. Many survivors lost their homes or face the risk of their homes collapsing from the structural damage, all while a tropical storm is en route to the island. Our hearts are with the communities and people in Haiti during this time.
Our hearts and minds are also with the women, girls, and communities in Afghanistan that are facing ongoing fear and uncertainties. Prior to launching TO THE MARKET, our founder and CEO, Jane Mosbacher Morris, worked for the US Department of State, where she focused on counterterrorism and women’s issues. In the role, she spent time meeting and working with women in Kabul. Their stories and insights were a big inspiration behind founding TTM. They (like other women she met all over the world) told Jane that for them, the way to power and more equity within their communities was access to capital - and this was one of many dialogues that lit the spark to create a company that would create and sustain fairly paid jobs for underrepresented women around the world. Now, nearly 400,000 residents of Afghanistan have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety. Women are especially at risk.
So How Can We Help?
One of the most important things we can do is listen to the voices of those who are directly impacted by these crises. People who are living this experience in real time have a clear perspective on what kind of help is most needed, and can offer cultural context that others may miss.
If you’re in the US, another step is to contact your representatives and urge them to do all they can to protect women and other vulnerable communities fleeing Afghanistan, and to work with local Haitian communities to support aid efforts.
If you’re looking to make a difference with your dollars, here are a few ways to do so:
Donations for Haiti
-CARE, an organization Jane is involved in, is on the scene in Haiti assessing damage, delivering supplies, and helping wherever they can.
-Papillion Marketplace, which provides consistent and fairly paid artisan work to Haitian parents, is providing relief to the artisan community and their families. You can also help support the artisans’ work by shopping the marketplace’s collection!
-Hope For Haiti, a locally run organization with deep knowledge of the communities hit by the earthquake, is distributing emergency supplies while laying a foundation for long-term recovery.
Donations for Afghanistan
-CARE is supplying direct aid to the nearly 400,000 Afghans who are forced to flee their homes.
-Women for Afghan Women is working hard to keep Afghan women safe through the crisis.
Every little bit makes a difference.
Sustainability is one of the buzziest words of the year. But we can’t do better for our planet unless we know better, and that starts with determining exactly where we stand.