Pulse March / April 2016 - Page 42

Eastern Vibration Kathmandu, Nepal S M inging bowls have a long tradition in eastern healing and wellness. Christine Hays had spent most of her working life in the spa and wellness world, but it was repeated visits to the Kingdom of Nepal that led to the start of Eastern Vibration. The company sells handmade singing bowls, Tingsha bells and other Nepalese tribal wares, all made by local artisans with a portion of the profits helping to support poor Nepalese families. It was during one of these visits that a chance conversation with a street child revealed just how difficult life for some women in Nepal had become: “There are many street children and most don’t go to school as they are on survival mode, just wanting food,” says Hays. “One day, I asked a child why he wasn’t in school, his response: ‘How will I eat if I go to school?’ We ended up getting close to three particular children and we found their mothers who were struggling and fending for themselves, sending the children out into the streets as they couldn’t afford taking care of them.” The women who Hays found were making necklaces and selling them to tourists, making around US$5 to US$10 a day to feed themselves and their children. In many cases, they were not making enough to feed their children, hence, the stark choice many youngsters faced between getting an education and having enough to eat. It’s a choice that many women throughout the world face, and many will go hungry in order to give their children a chance to break out of the cycle of poverty. Although Hays, along with her son Jahmaal, started Eastern Vibrations in 2012, it was the 2015 earthquake in Nepal that really brought the importance of her work home. Even the dwelling she shared with her son was destroyed by the quake, leaving them without shelter or food. Hays describes her feelings at the time she managed to escape to India as “survivor’s guilt,” something that inspired her to do what she could for those that she left behind in Nepal. “In the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated the lives of so many in Nepal, we are looking to extend the range of products and the families we support.” Hays also notes that the aftermath of a significant event like the April 2015 earthquakes in Nepal takes years to heal, but the media moves on in weeks, even days. One thing that has remained constant is the support of the spa industry: Ready Care Industries has contributed enormously by purchasing a significant amount of necklaces each month since June and has been gifting them to spa directors in their circuit. Six Senses Spas in Qatar and Sri Lanka have also been contributing, all of which has made a significant contribution to Eastern Vibration’s efforts to rebuild a school destroyed by the quake. The long-term outcome of the efforts of Hays, her son and Eastern Vibration will take years to come to fruition. What is certain is that many Nepalese lives, particularly those of women and children, will be improved, thanks to the support of the spa industry. TOP TIP: “Actions need to be strategic and intentional. Reach out to as many people as you can through social media, making sure those that you need to contribute know what they are contributing to.” 40 PULSE ■ March/April 2016