Mahakala Fine Arts supports social programs throughout the Himalaya. Please read about our efforts and join us.
Nepal Earthquake Relief
On April 25, 2015 the ground in Nepal shook....and kept shaking. A 7.8 earthquake ripped apart homes and toppled ancient temples, threw ice and boulders down steep Himalayan mountains, and destroyed lives and families.
Candice was in Kathmandu that day and called me moments after the earthquake to tell me what had happened and that she had not been hurt. But then we didn't have contact for three days as communication had been knocked out. I feared the worst as aftershocks continued to rock the country and all I could do was follow on the TV and internet while I continually tried to contact her. Fortunately, she was okay and made it home a week later after the airport re-opened for passenger flights.
Given our love of Nepal and our many friends there, we wanted to do something to help. We spoke with our good friend and master Nepali artist, Mukti Singh Thapa, and he too wanted to help. We decided to print two of his beautiful thangka paintings and sell them as prints in our shop. We chose a stunning Medicine Buddha painting and one of the Buddha of Compassion, given their meaning during this terrible time.
For months we sold these works and our customers loved the art and wanted to help the cause. We donated 100% of all money raised to the NGO Save The Children (STC) in Nepal (savethechildren.org/Nepal) to support the incredible relief work they were doing to benefit the children and families most affected by the earthquake.
We returned to Nepal in late August, 2015 for the 4-month anniversary of the quake. In order to understand the scale of the earthquake's destruction as well as Save The Children's relief efforts, I spent a day in the field visiting a tent city in Bhaktapur and going into the surrounding countryside to see the destruction and the relief work at an elementary school. Half the school had been destroyed and rubble still littered their playground. After discussing the situation with the principal and teachers, the most pressing need was simple: food. They had no money to pay the $50/month it would cost for breakfast and lunch. As a result, attendance rates were low and those students who did attend had trouble learning on a growling stomach.
After returning from the field we went to the Save The Children offices to make our donation. There we snapped a photo with, from left, Mukti Singh Thapa and his wife, STC's Deputy Country Director, Stephen & Candice, and STC's Country Director Delailah Borja.
Nepal Child Sponsorship Program
The incredible response to the previous fundraiser for Save The Children with Mukti Singh Thapa's art led us to open a gallery with his original thangka art and Collector's Edition prints. In order to maintain the momentum, we wanted to find a program that would allow us to continue to make a difference in Nepal, and one where we could directly see the impact of our contribution.
It's been so long after the earthquake and barely any work has been done to rebuild the country and care for the most vulnerable. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this situation. This is especially true in the countryside, where people are left to rebuild for themselves or with the help from NGOs such as Save The Children. They have a wonderful program whereby needy children can be sponsored. The sponsorship includes maternal and child health, early childhood care and development, basic education, school health and nutrition, and other needs. By sponsoring a child we have an opportunity to affect a life while it is young and has the best chance to succeed.
Every time we sell one of Mukti's prints we make a donation to Save The Children to sponsor a child in Nepal. Thanks to the generous support of many customers, we sponsor a beautiful 8-year old girl named Kiran. She is in grade school and hopes to one day be a teacher. In Hindi, kiran means 'ray of light,' and we hope that our sponsorship can help her be a ray of light in her community. We also sponsor 9-year old Malti. Malti translates to a small fragrant flower in Hindi. She is inspired by her teachers and wants to follow in their footsteps when she grows up.
To find out more about how this child sponsorship program works, please visit Save The Children's website.
After you have read Save The Children's website, please consider donating directly to them, or take a look at Mukti's gallery and buy one of his beautiful pieces of art to support the fundraiser. Feel free to contact us at Mahakala@MahakalaFineArts.com for more information or if you need help. Thank you for your kindness and compassion!