Noah’s Ark has been supporting and empowering talented artisans in India since the year 2000. They work with a multi-talented crowd of paper crafters, wood carvers, metal workers, skilled and dextrous painters… And this is only the beginning. Noah’s Ark is a hugely expanding NGO – and are constantly on the look-out for new craft techniques to develop.
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Moradabad is a city in which half of its population (700,000 people) are involved with the metal-working handicraft trade, and yet the industry is plagued with injustice. Artisans are paid poorly, forced to pay commissions, and must pay for the raw materials they need to complete orders themselves. As the cost of metal has risen, many artisans end up in terrible debt or have to close down their small businesses. Skills passed down from generation to generation begin to disappear, and Moradabad’s signature brass crafts become a thing of the past.
After witnessing the struggles of artisans first hand, Samuel Masih established Noah’s Ark International Exports in 1986 to transform the artisan-to-exporter relationship from one of fear, to one of trust. A true partnership. Since then, Noah’s Ark has ensured that local wages to artisans are 10-15% higher than local wages, and that their work comes with health and educational initiatives too. Noah’s Ark Handicrafts & Artisan Welfare Society was created in 2000 to enhance the charitable activities of the organisation.
Noah’s Ark are dedicated to advocating the value of India’s handicrafts, as well as its people. The organisation now supports a whole range of craftspeople, from wood-workers and brass-workers to paper crafters and painters. They liken their work to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark – and just how the Ark saved mankind, they strive to save the art of traditional handcrafting.