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

85,000 Mini Finger Puppets are Headed to Italy!

Crocheters in Gyumri, Kapan, Talin and Berd are working around the clock to complete the first of three order installments for HDIF's biggest wholesale order to date.  The order for 85,000 mini finger puppets will be delivered to Ferrere, Italy over the next six months.  HDIF met the Italian client at Ambiente, the leading international consumer goods trade fair that took place in Frankfurt, Germany in February.The finger puppets are being made in 17 different designs and 10 different colors as animals, aliens (yes, you read that right), and suns .  They are going inserted into chocolate kinder eggs as the special prize inside. Other large orders are coming in from Germany, Spain, Norway and the U.S., which means jobs, jobs, jobs for HDIF's producer partners and stronger communities throughout Armenia.

 

On the road

HDIF's Shop Manager, Lucy Vartevanian, participated in a two-day conference organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tblisi, Georgia. The topic was social entrepreneurship and migration within the Caucasus. Participants came from Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.  Lucy participated in a workshop that gave Armenian and Azeri representatives the opportunity to collaborate on social enterprise program in Azerbaijan.  The result was a groundbreaking idea to create community-benefit trust funds from foreign remittances that could be channeled through UNDP's blockchain-based Aid Tech platform. HDIF was featured as a successful social enterprise in job creation.  

HDIF's Production Manager, Lilit Darbinyan, participated in an international workshop called "Exchange Your Impact," which was organized by Prague Civil Society Centre and Impact Hub Odessa in Ukraine.  Lilit made a presentation about HDIF's work in job creation through handicraft enterprise. She described the 10 Principles of Fair Trade and discussed HDIF's business model as a World Fair Trade Guarantee member. Her remarks were well received by the 45 participants from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The purpose of the conference was to exchange experience and knowledge, and to find solutions for more effective and sustainable impact on local communities.

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EREO Team
EREO Team

 

1. Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities (EREO) in Vanadzor, Armenia aspires to improve visibility and public access for those with with physical disabilities, as well as help find or create jobs for its members.

Anush Aslanyan, EREO’s president, is a young woman with an iron will. The organization has 12 disabled members, an army of volunteers, and dozens of beneficiaries. Their disabilities include multiple sclerosis, hearing impairment, and visual impairment.

EREO's members make a variety of different handicraft products to provide an income to both the disabled artisans and the organization.  

EREO produces mugs with Armenian traditional needleowrk patterns designs for HDIF to be sold online and in the retail gift shop located in Yerevan. 

In August EREO has been told that they must vacate their current location by September because the space has been sold.  Sadly, they have moved four times in the past five years.  NOT EASY!  HDIF is helping EREO locate a permanent home where the organization can establish stability, provide improved accessibility for its members, and continue to conduct the amazing work they do with the disabled community in the region.

 

2. We are happy to report that your dollars are helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence learn new, marketable skills.  HDIF-USA's founder and executive director, Beth Broussalian, met with the staff of the Women's Resource Center Armenia (WRCA) to discuss the progress of the SHARE THE LOVE project.  Beautiful baptism blankets as well as baby boy and baby girl blanket/hat sets are being made with the knitting machines purchased thanks to SHARE THE LOVE donations.  These new items will be available in HDIF's retail shop and online in the fall. We are grateful for your support!  

EREO's products
EREO's products
WRCA Workshop
WRCA Workshop
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Live Fair with HDIF
Live Fair with HDIF

On May 12, HDIF hosted Armenia's first-ever World Fair Trade Day at its shop at Parpetsi Str. 13 in the center of Yerevan.  World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place on the 2nd Saturday of May each year. It is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to sustainable development, especially the economic empowerment of small producers, gender equality in workplaces and responsible production practices.

As a member of the World Fair Trade family, and the only World Fair Trade Guaranteed organization in all of the former Soviet republics, HDIF organized a special event awareness and promotion campaign, and offered a 12% discount on store items with a Facebook signup.

All the visitors being told about the Fair Trade and the Principles Of Fair Trade:

Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
Poverty reduction through trade forms a key part of the organisation's aims. The organisation supports marginalised small producers, whether these are independent family businesses, or grouped in associations or co-operatives. It seeks to enable them to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership. The organisation has a plan of action to carry this out.
 
Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability
The organisation is transparent in its management and commercial relations. It is accountable to all its stakeholders and respects the sensitivity and confidentiality of commercial information supplied. The organisation finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes. It ensures that relevant information is provided to all its trading partners. The communication channels are good and open at all levels of the supply chain.

Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices
The organisation trades with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalised small producers and does not maximise profit at their expense. It is responsible and professional in meeting its commitments in a timely manner. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality and specifications.

Fair Trade buyers, recognising the financial disadvantages faced by Producers and Suppliers of FT products, ensure orders are paid on receipt of documents or as mutually agreed. For Handicraft FT products, an interest free pre-payment of at least 50 % is made on request. For Food FT products, pre-payment of at least 50% at a reasonable interest is made if requested. Interest rates that the suppliers pay must not be higher than the buyers’ cost of borrowing from third parties. Charging interest is not required. 

Where southern Fair Trade suppliers receive a pre-payment from buyers, they ensure that this payment is passed on to the producers or farmers who make or grow their Fair Trade products.

Buyers consult with suppliers before cancelling or rejecting orders. Where orders are cancelled through no fault of producers or suppliers, adequate compensation is guaranteed for work already done. Suppliers and producers consult with buyers if there is a problem with delivery, and ensure compensation is provided when delivered quantities and qualities do not match those invoiced.

The organisation maintains long term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It maintains effective communication with its trading partners. Parties involved in a trading relationship seek to increase the volume of the trade between them and the value and diversity of their product offer as a means of growing Fair Trade for the producers in order to increase their incomes. The organisation works cooperatively with the other Fair Trade Organisations in country and avoids unfair competition. It avoids duplicating the designs of patterns of other organisations without permission.

Fair Trade recognises, promotes and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers as reflected in their craft designs, food products and other related services.

Principle Four: Fair Payment
A fair payment is one that has been mutually negotiated and agreed by all through on-going dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market, taking into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. The aim is always the payment of a Local Living Wage. Fair Payment is made up of Fair Prices, Fair Wages and Local Living Wages.

Fair Prices
A Fair Price is freely negotiated through dialogue between the buyer and the seller and is based on transparent price setting. It includes a fair wage and a fair profit. Fair prices represent an equitable share of the final price to each player in the supply chain.

Fair Wages
A Fair Wage is an equitable, freely negotiated and mutually agreed wage, and presumes the payment of at least a Local Living Wage.

Local Living Wage
A Local Living Wage is remuneration received for a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) by a Worker in a particular place, sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the Worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transport, clothing, and other essential needs, including provision for unexpected events.

Principle Five:  Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
The organisation adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. The organisation ensures that there is no forced labour in its workforce and / or members or homeworkers.

Organisations who buy Fair Trade products from producer groups either directly or through intermediaries ensure that no forced labour is used in production and the producer complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of Fair Trade products (including learning a traditional art or craft) is always disclosed and monitored and does not adversely affect the children's well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play.

Principle Six:  Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
The organisation does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS status or age.

The organisation has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality that ensures that women as well as men have the ability to gain access to the resources that they need to be productive and also the ability to influence the wider policy, regulatory, and institutional environment that shapes their livelihoods and lives. Organisational constitutions and by-laws allow for and enable women  to become active members of the organisation in their own right (where it is a membership based organisation),  and to take up leadership positions in the governance structure regardless of women’s status in relation to ownership of assets such as land and property.  Where women are employed within the organisation, even where it is an informal employment situation, they receive equal pay for equal work.  The organisation recognises women’s full employment rights and is committed to ensuring that women receive their full statutory employment benefits. The organisation takes into account the special health and safety needs of pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.

The organisation respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. Where the right to join trade unions and bargain collectively are restricted by law and/or political environment, the organisation will enable means of independent and free association and bargaining for employees. The organisation ensures that representatives of employees are not subject to discrimination in the workplace.

Principle Seven:  Ensuring Good Working Conditions
The organisation provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and / or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety.

Working hours and conditions for employees and / or members (and any homeworkers) comply with conditions established by national and local laws and ILO conventions.

Fair Trade Organisations are aware of the health and safety conditions in the producer groups they buy from. They seek, on an ongoing basis, to raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve health and safety practices in producer groups.

Principle Eight:  Providing Capacity Building
The organisation seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalised producers through Fair Trade.

The organisation develops the skills and capabilities of its own employees or members. Organisations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets - local / regional / international / Fair Trade and mainstream as appropriate. Organisations which buy Fair Trade products through Fair Trade intermediaries in the South assist these organisations to develop their capacity to support the marginalised producer groups that they work with.

Principle Nine:  Promoting Fair Trade
The organisation raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade according to the scope of the organisation. The organisation provides its customers with information about itself, the products it markets, and the producer organisations or members that make or harvest the products. Honest advertising and marketing techniques are always used.

Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment
Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximise the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimise greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimise the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimise their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.

 

 

Both HDIF and HDIF-USA promoted World Fair Trade Day through email marketing and social media.  

WFTO and its members believe that trade must benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers.

HDIF's founder Tim Straight with visitors
HDIF's founder Tim Straight with visitors
HDIF's shop manager Lucy Vartevanian with artisan
HDIF's shop manager Lucy Vartevanian with artisan
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Fair Trade shop front
Fair Trade shop front

Homeland Development Initiative Foundation - HDIF has opened Armenia's first ever FAIR TRADE GUARANTEED shop at Parpetsi Str. 13 in the center of Yerevan.

The grand opening was a fabulous, five-day celebration, from April 11-15, with food, beverages, prizes, and much more.  Lucy Vartevanian, the store manager, stated, “The shop is selling all of HDIF's signature handicrafts and debuting some beautiful new products".

Fair Trade shop is a pure income generating project that will allow the company to offer at the market more of the women artisans' and women led entities goods, increase their families income and get more recognition from the wider range of customers. This initiative is extrimely important especially for those who come from the economically disadvantanged remote rural communitites. 

One of the major ranges of products that are displayed in the shop are made by Syrian Armenians that escaped Syria during the conflict and settled in Armenia. 

The shop actively promotes Fair Trade principles, participates at internatoinal Fair Trade initiatives along with the rest of fair trade social enterprises.  

Syrian Armenian goods
Syrian Armenian goods
International Fair Trade Day 12th of May
International Fair Trade Day 12th of May
HDIF volunteers on International Fair Trade Day
HDIF volunteers on International Fair Trade Day
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In Gyumri, the snow and freeze arrived sooner than expected. Winter is the season thatt is less expected no matter how beatiful and magical the nature can look. This period is associated with cold. Warm jackets, sweaters, scarves and gloves are needed to protect kids and their parents from the harsh weather. 

What these wonderful ladies do is time-wasting but working hard. They are busy by crocheting various types of mini animals, key tags, rattles and even more. The mission is simple - provide their kids with the Christmas magic and New Year celebration joy. Meanwhile HDIF is doing its best to connect them with the markets and raise awareness about their talents and skills. We reached our small goal to make sure these families have had a wonderful Christmas celebtration in secure and peaceful atmosphere.

So many people who purchased their handmade items left such a positive feedback. They admire the talent and such unique skillset they have in Gyumri. 

HDIF wants to be sure these women have a solid roof over their heads, food on the table, and education for the kids - make sure they are prepared for the winter and for generations to come. This is how HDIF works to break the cycle of poverty. 

We break it step by step. And we appreciate every support by everybody.

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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
$41,034 raised of $59,000 goal
 
599 donations
$17,966 to go
Donate Now
$10
USD
will provide a warm beanie and a jar of superfood blueberry jam to a person at risk at the border. The beanie will provide work to an artisan in the village of Goghovit, the jam will be made in Berd
$20
USD
will provide will provide a warm sweater to a person at risk at the border. The sweater will be made by former refugees from Syria in Yerevan.
$30
USD
will provide a warm beanie and a sweater to a person at risk at the border. The sweater will be produced by a Syrian Armenian in Yerevan, and the beanie will be hand knit in Goghovit village.
$50
USD
will provide a sweater, a beanie and six jars of superfood blueberry jam to a person at risk at the border. The products come from Goghovit, Berd and Syrian Armenians
$100
USD
will provide five jars of superfood blueberry jam, three sweaters and three beanies to a family at risk by the border. The products come from Goghovit, Berd and Syrian Armenians.
$200
USD
will provide six sweaters, six beanies, and eight jars of superfood blueberry jam to families at risk by the border. The products come from Goghovit, Berd and Syrian Armenians.
$500
USD
will provide 17 beanies and 17 sweaters to persons at risk in villages up at the border. The beanies are produced in Goghovit and the sweaters by Syrian Armenians. We will thrown in some jam from Berd
$1,000
USD
will provide 35 beanies and 35 sweaters to persons at risk in villages up at the border. The beanies are produced in Goghovit and the sweaters by Syrian Armenians. We will throw in some jam from Berd
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