The Trade Aid story
In 1969, Christchurch Couple Vi and Richard Cottrell answered an ad for an adviser to a resettlement scheme for Tibetan refugees in Northern India. They lived there for two years with their two children. Many of the Tibetan refugees were carpet weavers. Vi’s job was to find buyers for the carpets all over the world. When they came home, they wanted to go on supporting the Tibetan refugees, so they ordered $1000 worth of carpets and hung them in the CSA Gallery in Christchurch. Within 15 minutes of opening, all the carpets were sold. In 1973, the Cottrells, along with another ten like-minded members, formed a small not-for-profit society. Trade Aid also has a strategic partnership with NZAID (New Zealand Agency for International Development) and receives funding for some of their activities to reduce poverty.