FUNDING KIDS’ EDUCATION THROUGH FURNITURE DESIGN

By kristin

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Last year, NYC-based furniture maker Andrew Raible and photographer Jami Saunders spent their honeymoon volunteering in a Nepali orphanage. Living, working, and photographing 41 kids in the New Youth Development Society in Kathmandu, they were constantly inspired by the big hearts and even bigger aspirations of these kids. But they were also deeply troubled by the realities of day-to-day living. They did not have their own beds, they were not getting a nutritional diet, and the future of their education was uncertain.

Shortly after returning home, they learned that adoptions in Nepal had been halted due to fears of child trafficking. This is when the couple decided to form the non-profit Kids of Kathmandu. Founded on their belief in photography and the power it has to share a story, Kids of Kathmandu utilizes photography, design, and the arts to raise awareness and needed funds for the 41 kids who had touched their hearts. It is their goal to raise enough money to cover food, education, school uniforms and immunizations for the next 3 years. Their first initiative, The Desk Project, is focused on furniture design with the proceeds going towards the children’s education. In the next few years they would like to pair lighting design with solar panels, culinary arts with local and organic farming and fashion design for school uniforms.

For The Desk Project, they reached out to established architects, artists, designers and woodworkers to design and fabricate a child’s desk. In response, they received 11 kids’ desks from 11 different designers including: Andrew Raible, Daniel Moyer, Eric Manigian, Brian DeRosia, Uhuru, Made, Workshop Design Build, 9 Stories, Strear Built, Wadaly and Cambium Studio. Each desk is custom-built and completely unique with inspirations ranging from children’s building blocks to Op Art paintings. All of the desks are now on digital display and up for auction! Visit their auction site and start placing your bid!

If you’re not in the market for a desk but would still like to show your support, you can also purchase tickets to their Inaugural Fundraising Gala. The $75 ticket covers an evening of live music, drinks and hors d’ourves. There will also be an installation of large-format photographs of the children (taken by Jami), which will be available for sale. What better way to start off New York Design Week than with an event focused on design for social good? We hope to see you there!

Kids of Kathmandu Inaugural Fundraising Gala
Location: Ramscale Loft (463 West Side Hwy, New York, NY 10014)
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 6:00-9:00 PM

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