Levantando Chile was established to support social enterprises working with those communities most affected by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami in Chile.Levantando Chile focuses on long-term efforts to rebuild lives and livelihoods of affected communities.
Rebuilding Lives & Livelihoods
The first wave of generosity from donors from around the world has already shown very positive results. In 2010, two organizations supported by Levantando Chile were awarded US$25,000 each towards reconstruction efforts of their respective communities. Weavers from Relmu Witral and artisans working with Trabajo Para un Hermano-Concepción resumed their work thanks to funds provided by Levantando Chile to rebuild their workshops and to purchase much-needed tools and supplies.
- Relmu Witral works with 150 Lafkenche women training them in preserving their ancestral skills as textile weavers and providing them with support in producing and commercializing their handwoven products.
- Trabajo Para un Hermano-Concepción provides training and support for microentrepreneurs out of its office in Concepción, and also runs a fair trade store in downtown Concepción, called Manos del Bío Bío, which sells products made by the artisans in its group.
- Financial: Each small producer and artisan will receive between US$320 and US$750 to recover assets and/or damaged infrastructure (equipment, stock and workspace repairs, etc.).
- Commercialization: Small producers and artisans will have access to technical assistance in order to develop a commercialization strategy to reach new and better markets.
- Psychosocial: Each small producer and artisan will be able to participate in group counseling sessions designed for people that are still affected by the earthquake.
- Business Administration: Each small producer and artisan will receive technical support to learn business management practices that allow them to increase their incomes.
- Sixth Region’s Beekeepers’ Association (APIUNISEXTA A.G) from San Fernando, Chile.
- Center for Sustainable Development (CEDESUS) from Pichilemu, Chile.
- Education & Technology Center (CET) from Yumbel, Chile.
- Evangelical Service for Development (SEPADE) from Concepcion, Chile.
- SURMAULE NGO from Talca, Chile.
Levantando Chile’s ultimate goal is for its beneficiaries to be completely self-sustaining as quickly as possible: living, working and selling their products as they did before the earthquake and tsunami struck.
Because of the successful experience with these two organizations, NESsT decided to launch a three-year initiative that supports 372 marginalized producers and artisans affected by the earthquake to recover and improve their incomes in the short-run. Most earn on average less than USD$345 per month, confront daily barriers to accessing the market and obtaining fair prices for their goods.
In a public participation process, NESsT selected 6 civil society organizations (CSO) based on their management capacity, experience and their commitment to the affected population. The CSO’s coordinate the project in the field and NESsT lends support in 4 key areas:
In addition to Trabajo para un Hermano-Concepción, the selected organizations in this process are:
Located in Tirúa, a coastal town located in southern Chile region that was destroyed by the earthquake, Relmu Witral works closely with local indigenous communities of Lafkenche women, training them in preserving their ancestral skills as textile weavers and providing them with support in producing and commercializing their handwoven products.
A member of NESsT’s portfolio, Relmu Witral concentrates on ensuring the Lafkenche women restore their income quickly so they may continue to support their families and rebuild their lives. NESsT has been working with Relmu Witral since 2007 and Levantando Chile is providing financial support to Relmu Witral to restore their homes, places of work, and to get access to the materials and markets they need immediately as artisans and micro-entrepreneurs in order to resume their work and sources of income.
Click here to read more about the support Levantando Chile provides to Relmu Witral.
Trabajo Para Un Hermano-Concepción
Trabajo Para Un Hermano-Concepción (TPH) provides training and support for microentrepreneurs out of its office in Concepción, and also runs a fair trade store in downtown Concepción, called Manos del Bío Bío, which sells products made by the artisans in its group.
Through Levantando Chile, TPH artisans received funds to rebuild and to purchase tools. Other artisans, who have had no income since the earthquake, will receive stipends to purchase supplies. NESsT is also helping to find new markets for products outside the affected areas and to build back up Manos del Bío Bío’s capacity to attract clients and meet demands.
Click here to read more about the support Levantando Chile provides to TPH-Concepción.
Chile Ayuda a Chile
Levantando Chile also donated US$ 25,000 to Chile Ayuda a Chile at en event in New York with Puro Chile to help raise money for this organization, part of Fundación Teletón, helping build 30,000 emergency homes in the areas most affected by the earthquake.
Levantando Chile Supporters
Project Assistant, Levantando Chile