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Food Distribution Update

During your lockdown, many of you joined the ‘Run 5km for Loyal’, to support some of the most vulnerable people in this COVID-19 crisis. Together we were able to raise over NZ$31,000 for Bowbazar, The Loyal Workshop’s neighbourhood in Kolkata, India. Hundreds of people’s lives have been impacted by your efforts and generosity. Wow, all that from the confines of your bubble! Well done team!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Thank you

Thank you for partnering with us. We deeply appreciate how you backed our crazy little idea of a virtual 5km run/walk. Our employees have expressed many times over, both their gratitude, and the gratitude of their neighbours. Thank-you for caring enough to get off your couch, dust off your runners, open up your wallets and your hearts to support the Loyal Workshop’s neighbourhood in their hour of need.

How’s India at the moment?

The struggle continues in India, as COVID-19 rips through this volatile, under-resourced nation. Even as India begins to open up, daily cases are still on the rise. But thanks to you, support is also on the rise.

The Loyal Workshop remains closed, as Kolkata is still under lockdown (to be reviewed on the 31st of July ). But our artisans have been doing work of a different kind. They have laid down their leather, needle and thread, and have hoisted up 25kg bags of food to their neighbours in need.

Here’s what’s been happening with the money you raised….

Our employees distribute 150 food parcels

Our employees asked us to organize dry rations for their desperate neighbours. We purchased NZ$5,100 of dry rations and The Loyal Workshop staff distributed the parcels.

To find out more about how we tried to create a more empowering, neighbour helping neighbour approach, read our earlier blog here:

We were so impressed by our employee’s bravery and commitment to their neighbours.

Here are some photos of the hefty 3750kg operation.

Mask Distribution

Our friends at Freeset, have made over 20,000 masks to distribute in their neighbourhood. They kindly made 1000 masks for our community too and we donated $2000 for their work. So far we’ve distributed 500 masks in the Bowbazar Red Light Area.

Sanlaap Distributes 180 Parcels

SANLAAP is a wonderful Indian NGO, founded in 1987 to support trafficked and prostituted women in the Red Light Areas of Kolkata. They were hoping to provide dry rations (rice, lentils etc) to 180 Bowbazar families in need. Your donations made their dream a reality. We were able to donate the full amount needed of $6700. To learn more about SANLAAP, check them out here  or here:

What else is in the pipeline?

Post Cyclone Amphan support: Many people’s homes were damaged on the 20th May, as Kolkata’s worst ever cyclone ripped through the city. With the rainy season upon them, and with many roofs still damaged, we are looking at how we can best support the community. We are considering distributing tarpaulins and/or further dry rations.

We’re also considering manufacturing hand sanitizer and starting women’s self-help groups. We will keep you posted on how things unfold, as we listen to the community talk about their needs.

Want to do more?

Support Loyal? As we look to open the workshop soon, the best way to support our artisans now, is to purchase one of our products. Thank you.


Donations for the 5km for Loyal have now closed. If you want to donate to support vulnerable women and families in India during this COVID-19 crisis, please consider donating to SANLAAP (email Sarah for more information: Alternatively, you could donate to World Vision’s COVID-19 emergency relief.