LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

by Homeland Development Initiative Foundation
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LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
HDIF Founder and Executive Director Tim's 64th birthday is 11 days away. Every year he chooses a cause that he believes in to solicit support. This year it is Hamlet and Tamta up in Berd, who have a dream of making their home into a cafe with natural honey, fresh baked bread, herbs from the garden and warm Tavush hospitality - all locally homegrown!
'We want the soul of Armenian rural life to live in these walls via tastes and smells of traditional Tavushian cuisine.'
This project is a small part of a much larger Sari Janaparh project by HDIF. You all will be spending a lot more time in Tavush soon! So prepare to experience some of it in Hamlet and Tamta's soon to be lovely little garden.
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Easter collection
Easter collection

HDIF's Easter decorations collection is the biggest ever, that features wooden crosses and eggs, knitted and felt eggs, the Easter Bunny and more! This gorgeous collection has been inspired by the Buy Armenian movement that took hold during the holiday season. "We were thinking about the next big holiday and wanted to be ready with our handmade, fair traded handicrafts," stated Tim Straight, HDIF founder and executive director.

However, the popularity of the Easter collection has extended beyond the Buy Armenian movement.  Easter products have been shipped to Belgium, Australia, Denmark, and the U.S. This new product line has actively employed producer partners in Koghb, Berd, and Yerevan who have created innovative and unique designs.

HDIF's producer, Syrian-born, Maral Berberian is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Yerevan to make Easter products for UNHCR's MADE51 project. MADE51 brings beautiful products to the global marketplace by collaborating with refugee artisan groups and local social enterprise partners. Maral is originally from Aleppo, Syria. She learned embroidery techniques from her grandmother. When she lived Aleppo, embroidery wasn’t her business, but she has start a business with other embroiderers in Yerevan. 

"Beyond Beautiful" WFTO Project Engages HDIF Artisans

"Beyond Beautiful" is an initiative organized by the World Fair Trade Organization.  It's a physical and digital exhibition supported with dynamic graphics, film and voice. Recently, HDIF learned that the products it has submitted for this unique exhibition, natural wool egg ornaments and pillow covers, have passed to the next level of consideration. 

The producer partners involved in this project are Kenats Tun and the Goris Women's Resource Foundation. Kenats Tun was founded in 1996 and teaches classes in the various fields of the arts to support Armenians in disadvantaged regions as well as to promote traditional crafts. Cultural Director Lala Mneyan is the driving force behind HDIF's partnership with Kenats Tun. The Goris Women's Development Resource Center is led by Executive Director Ruzanna Torozyan and has been an HDIF producer partner in 2010.  The Foundation empowers women of southern Armenia in their political, economic and social life, and are best known as the makers of HDIF's mini animals. 

The eye-catching motifs are inspired by the wrought iron 'Gates of Goris'. The idea for replicating the 'Gates of Goris' project emanated from the Smithsonian Museum's My Armenia project.  In addition to using natural fibers, the egg ornaments and pillow covers are embellished with traditional embroidery techniques that showcase Armenia's cultural heritage.

Products selected will be high quality statement pieces embodying the best of design, the best of a technique, product type or material. Each piece should speak for itself - encompassing the story of “Beyond Beautiful” - pieces that showcase artisans as masters of their craft and champions of their trade. 

International Women's Day

International Women's DayHDIF is partnering with the World Fair Trade Organization to build up member engagement around the issue of domestic violence.  A special Women's Day campaign will run March 1-8 to bring attention to developing relationships with artisans who are survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Fair Trade fights for equality, women’s rights. and gender justice. People across this movement #ChooseToChallenge barriers and injustice. #WomenOfFairTrade

Hand Embroidered Easter Eggs
Hand Embroidered Easter Eggs
Hand Felted Easter Eggs
Hand Felted Easter Eggs
#WomenOfFairTrade
#WomenOfFairTrade

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As 2020 winds down, we would like to reflect a bit.
HDIF made a crazily optimistic budget early in the year, and quite frankly did not expect to even come close......but we did come close, it seems.
We never expected a virus to shut down much of the world, taking with it all the tourists that were supposed to flood Armenia this Summer. But we pivoted to masks and made the best of a bad situation.
We never expected a war in Artsakh. We never expected all the dirty laundry that has come out as a result. We never expected all those young men to die. We never expected a flood of evacuees. We are still reeling with frustration and a sense of injustice. HDIF's producer partners have lost sons and grandsons, neighbors and community members. We did what everybody did, rolling up our sleeves and providing whatever humanitarian assistance we could, forging important new partnerships along the way. Making the best of a horrible situation.
We never expected the Buy Armenian tsunami to happen at all, let alone in the enormous volume it did in the wake of the war.  We struggled greatly to produce the volume of orders we got. We uncovered weaknesses in parts of our supply chain and are working to fix them. This tsunami meant lots of stress, but thankfully lots of money being sent to our producer partners in the regions of Armenia to get them through these rough, dark days.
 
So, while not entirely in the mood to celebrate, we are certainly thankful. Very thankful - thankful to our faithful producer partners all over Armenia, to our ridiculously hard working staff, to our very engaged board of directors, to a long list of volunteers, to all of our strategic partners, to our many donors and supporters, to our sister organization in the US, to all of our overseas clients in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Hong Kong and more. 
You know who you are. Thank you.
We enter 2021 with tons of determination to make HDIF even bigger, better and stronger. We will welcome a new full time marketing staff person. We want a new emphasis on recycled products and products made by refugees, evacuees and wounded soldiers. We want to switch to more natural fibers in our knit and crocheted products. We will start future oriented developmental projects, the first being the Sari Janaparh (Mountain Road) project in Tavush where we will develop bed and breakfasts, hiking trails, cultural activities and more.
 
We are ready.
It has been a rough year with lots of physical and emotional distress, and we are glad it is nearly over. We send 2020 on it's way, and welcome in 2021 with renewed determination and energy. 
Thank you for being part of it. Let's work harder, together in 2021.
Our humble appreciation to you for your contribution to HDIF here in Armenia. 

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100% natural hand rolled beeswax candles
100% natural hand rolled beeswax candles

Asked by a member of the HDIF board to visit a honey festival being arranged in Martuni village in the Getik Valley of Armenia, we visited there last month. What we saw impressed us!

- Dynamic youth trying to make their village an eco oasis of education through their international summer camp

- Bio honey being produced.

- Natural beeswax candles being produced.

- Lots of fruit trees throughout the village. The trimmed branches and older trees cut to plant new ones would be great for wood carving!

- Natural soaps being made of locally sourced herbs and even what most would consider weeds!

- Bio apples being grown at 1700 meters over sea level.

Our heads were spinning after seeing all the potential this little village (population 521) has! The two young Khachatryan sisters, the intiators of much of the great things going on in the village are such great agents for positive change in Martuni!

Within two weeks of visiting, we already have their beeswax candles and hand made soaps on our website, and have been back to visit again to learn more!

When we find a clusture of potential for eco products of different kinds, HDIF dives in...as we have done in Martuni village!

100% Natural Hand Made Soaps
100% Natural Hand Made Soaps
Bio Apple Grown at 1700 M.O.H.
Bio Apple Grown at 1700 M.O.H.
Apitherapy in Martuni Village
Apitherapy in Martuni Village
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Marash embroidery on HDIF's People's Mask
Marash embroidery on HDIF's People's Mask

Saturday, June 20th is World Refugee Day! And HDIF in Armenia is engaging Syrian Armenians in Armenia with a background in displacement by highlighting their special skills!

First, we created Christmas ornaments using 100% Armenian wool and added a cultural heritage element of traditional Armenian Marash embroidery. We are negotiating with an international organization for big orders for these! Maral, Ayda and many more will be busy later this Summer!

Secondly, we created PPE face masks using that same cultural heritage element of Marash embroidery. 

We are proud to be working closely in Armenia with UNHCR and their Made51 project to help these strong, talented Syrian Armenia women show what a resource they are for Armenia!

Please help us to help the Syrian Armenians in Armenia to help themselves!

Thank you.

Marash embroidery on HDIF's natural wool ornament
Marash embroidery on HDIF's natural wool ornament
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Organization Information

Homeland Development Initiative Foundation

Location: Yerevan - Armenia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HDIFarmenia
Project Leader:
Timothy Straight
Mr.
Kentron, YEREVAN Armenia
$27,228 raised of $42,642 goal
 
409 donations
$15,414 to go
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