Creative Learning Inc.

Focusing on communities with pressing human needs, Creative Learning enhances the capacity of local organizations around the world to improve the lives of people in their communities. Through the creation of people-to-people partnerships, we are especially dedicated to protecting human rights, supporting economic and social development, and building peace.

Creative Learning Inc.
5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Suite 104
Washington, DC 20015
United States
2025519053
http://www.creativelearning.org

Board of Directors

Marta Maldonado, George Laudato, Phyllis Forbes, Jessica Kruvant, George Mandelbaum, Jeff Weiss, Nuran Kolan, William Kruvant, Carola Mandelbaum, Benjamin Orbach, Monika Steinberger, Cecilia Closs, Andrew Corrie

Project Leaders

Olga Kent
Benjamin Orbach

Mission

Focusing on communities with pressing human needs, Creative Learning enhances the capacity of local organizations around the world to improve the lives of people in their communities. Through the creation of people-to-people partnerships, we are especially dedicated to protecting human rights, supporting economic and social development, and building peace.

Programs

Aid to Artisans-The West African Cotton Improvement Program (WACIP) in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali is a USAID-funded project through the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) based in Bamako, Mali. The project runs from October 2007 to May 2013. The overall objective of the WACIP project is to increase incomes of cotton-farming households. The project assists Benin, Burkina, Chad, and Mali to increase cotton yields and improve sales and income for the cotton sector. As part of the consortium implementing the WACIP project, ATA's activities concentrate on adding value in cotton processing and transformation for textile artisans. WACIP draws on ATA's core competencies in product development, enterprise-level capacity-building, and facilitating market linkages for artisan textile businesses. The Ethiopia Sustainable Tourism Alliance (ESTA) is a multi-partnered project funded by USAID through FHI 360. The partnership also includes Counterpart International, Solimar International and George Washington University. The main goal of this project is to enhance health, education, economic benefits, cultural appreciation and environmental protection through the development of sustainable tourism. Since 2008, ATA focused its efforts on four key overarching areas of support over the life of this project: (1) promote the craft sector as a key experience in tourist destinations and a key economic driver for reducing poverty, creating employment and raising the socio-economic status of Ethiopian artisans; (2) stimulate the development of marketable, culturally appropriate and environmentally sound handmade products through market-driven product development design and technical assistance; (3) build the capacity of artisans to more effectively manage for business success, respond to business opportunities and create and maintain buyer relations; and (4) increase market access through developing and expanding artisan "touch points" and more regionally linked and based market opportunities to maximize artisans sales from the tourist industry. ATA has reached more than 200 artisans living in the Central and Southern Rift Valley of Ethiopia. These 200 artisans represent 9 enterprises that develop products in textiles, wood, horn, basketry, and calabash. Their product collection embodies the lines for home decor, gift, fashion, and hotel accessories. They have developed baskets, curtains, placemats, pillows, scarves, vases, and among others. They have generated about $99,000 in local sales representing an increase of 310% since the beginning of the project. The Wayuu Artisan Women Initiative (WAWI) is a two-year program designed to increase incomes of 16 Wayuu communities in La Guajira northern Colombia. The project benefits artisans, predominantly women, through: 1) Business Development Training programs and workshops; 2) Production Development and Design Innovation; and 3) Market Development and Buyer Linkages. Over the lifetime of the project, ATA and its Colombian partner CREATA aim to increase the income of 800 Wayuu women by 85%. These objectives are being met through the efforts of a local team working with consultants delivering a range of technical assistance and capacity building services to the artisans. The Sector Modernization for Mayan Women Weavers in the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico (MATCH) is a three-year project launched in April 2012, with grants by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and Fundacion Fundemex. MATCH has been created to sustainably increase the capacity of Mayan back strap weavers and embroiderers in remote rural regions of eleven municipalities in Chiapas to produce market-driven products for local, national, tourist, and export markets. The initiative will help transform the practice of this traditional, culturally rich and very marketable craft into a competitive and profitable economic activity, benefiting not only 2,000 women artisans directly, but also their families, communities and the greater economy in the highlands of Chiapas. The Craft Content for Tourism Signage in Fes and Marrakech, Morocco - In partnership with Solimar International, ATA collaborated on a tourism promotion project in Morocco, implemented by the Moroccan Agence du Partenariat pour le Progres (APP). This project was part of a five-year economic development compact by the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the government of Morocco, in the context of which ATA had completed a comprehensive artisan promotion plan during 2011. The Nixi Tibetan Cultural Preservation and Economic Empowerment Exchange is a two year program funded by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State. The program aims to conserve a treasured Tibetan cultural tradition, Nixi Black Pottery, while providing significant tangible opportunities to develop new markets and appreciation of this 1200-year-old tradition to a more sophisticated audience beyond the Nixi Village. With assistance from design consultants selected by Aid to Artisans in partnership with The Mountain Institute and other local non-profit organizations, the potters are improving designs, techniques, and broadening their use of artistic motifs, adding skills for packaging and marketing their wares. Increasing sales opportunities to expand markets for high quality product of Nixi Pottery internationally is the focus of this project. In addition, 40 Nixi potters will participate in a pottery workshop and will learn technical skills such as bead making in Jingdezhen, which is an international center for ceramics. America's Unofficial Ambassadors (AUA) is a unique citizen diplomacy initiative dedicated to increasing the number of Americans who volunteer in the Muslim World. From archaeologists to engineers, Unofficial Ambassadors volunteer with grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to meet some of the Muslim World's most urgent development needs in areas such as education, youth engagement, and civil society. As volunteers, Unofficial Ambassadors form people-to-people partnerships through their service that build cooperation between America and the Muslim World, acting as positive examples of Americans abroad and overcoming stereotypes. Upon their return, volunteers work to foster cross-cultural understanding at home by sharing their experiences with the public through blogs and community presentations. For the summer of 2013, AUA is launching three volunteer programs in Morocco, Indonesia and Tanzania, placing volunteers with schools and NGOs for six weeks. Volunteers will study languages at local universities and participate in a host of activities designed to broaden their knowledge of their host country. The School-2-School (S2S) is a cultural exchange and educational development program that enables schools in the United States to partner with schools in the Muslim World. With each S2S partnership, students engage in a virtual exchange that enables them to reach beyond stereotypes and to learn about each other. In addition to this exchange, the American school raises money to purchase educational supplies prioritized by the "host country" school. The education supplies, which can range from books and paper to computers and lab equipment, are shipped to the host country school or procured locally. In the summer, Creative Learning supports the travel of an "unofficial ambassador" from the American school to volunteer at the host school for two to four weeks. That unofficial ambassador then "brings home" the experience of volunteering with the host school for his or her community the following school year. This year we've made partnership with schools in Indonesia and Bangladesh. The Civic Engagement for Transparency and Accountability (CETA) project in Egypt is a two year program funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) that will empower local organizations to empower citizens. With an emphasis on women and youth, CL will help Egyptian citizens to more effectively and sustainably exercise their democratic rights in Egypt's burgeoning democracy. CL will expand and consolidate the Citizens Electoral Education Network (CEEN) - currently comprising more than 20 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in four governorates. CL will also nearly double the geographic and expand the technical scope of the network to increase citizen participation in democratic governance before, during and after electoral events. CL will work with the expanded CEEN network of NGOs to increase understanding of democratic rights and responsibilities. CL will facilitate working groups and provide participatory process skills training that will be necessary to enhance voters' civic knowledge. Doing so will empower them to engage in the democratic process to help build citizen participation and government accountability. CL will also support CEEN partners to promote active and informed civic engagement and participation in their communities. We will do so by bringing the knowledge, skills, and techniques gained through project activities back to local networks of CBOs who will educate and empower local citizens. By engaging local citizens and local officials, CL will support these NGOs in efforts to change communities' and individuals' ad hoc actions to collective action responding to communal needs and priorities. Haiti Agribusiness MicroPark Pilot in MirebalaisWithin its sector innovation strategy for Haiti, the new CL/ATA organization, in collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), is in the process of creating a five-year, US$ 3 mm enterprise for new craft products, new production centers, new skills and new markets: the agribusiness micro park in Haiti's plateau central. Libya Human Rights Project (DONOR: Sida)This two year program has been proposed to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

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