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
Snowmen on their way to the US!
Snowmen on their way to the US!

In the coming days, HDIF will be making the biggest export shipment it has EVER made! Thousands of Christmas ornaments will be flying out of Yerevan and over to the US.

How did this come about?

Friends in the Armenian Tree Project introduced us to one of their supporters. He asked if HDIF wanted support. We told him that we don't want him writing a check, we want him ordering goods for his gift and interior company in the US. 

The result?

Santas by the thousands. Snowmen by the thousands. Doves by the hundreds. Owls by the thousands. Santas accessories by the thousands. Angels by the hundreds.... and more!

Who benefits?

Women in Berd and the surrounding villages in Shamshadin.

Women in Keti up by the Georgian border.

Women in Kapan

Women refugees from Syria

Women in Yerevan

...by the hundreds

This has been an amazing adventure and a real challenge. We have grown. We have learned.

The Board of Directors of HDIF has said that we shall positively economically influence 2500 women in Armenia by the end of 2019.

This was a step in that direction.

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Berkaber beehive key tag
Berkaber beehive key tag

Homeland Development Initiative Foundation is very proud that their partner organization Berd Women's Resource Foundation(BWRCF) has taken the initiative to create a special campaign to promote not only the sale of hand-crocheted items, but also guard the health of the women who produce the products.

BWRCF has identified vulnerable women in four communities along the front line in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict that are regularly shot at by snipers and with artillery fire.  These are Berkaber, Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, Aygepar and Movses, in addition to the regional center of Berd. The stress of living in a conflict zone means two important things:

1.  Regular jobs are nearly impossible to come by, and agricultural work in the fields exposes them to sniping.

2.  The stress of living in a conflict zone creates a higher rate of physical illness than in the normal population and medical checks of women's sexual reproductive health are not done due to poverty, innaccesability and tabu.

So BWRCF asked HDIF if we could partner with them to bring not only income but also thyroid, mammography and gynaecological checks to the women in those communities.

Here is a clip created for the campaign:

Hope and Health to the Border

 

The keytags shown in the film represent the four villages that are the target of the campaign. 

A) Berkaber is a honey producing village, so they have made a beehive key tag.

B) Nerkin Karmiraghbyur is a grape producing village, so they have put a grape leaf on their gingerbread house.

C) Aygepar has what once was the airport for the Berd region(now in direct sniper range), so they have an airplan on the roof of their key tag house.

D) Movses is nestled in the hills above Berd, directly under artillery fire. Their key tag uses the colors of the Armenian flag.

Several hundred of the keytags have already been sold, meaning that:

1.  Over a thousand hours of work has been provided to the women of the four villages and Berd.

2.  Hundreds of women will be screened in Berd for potential thyroid, breast cancer and gynaecological issues.

3.  All those women indentified as at risk after the screening will be offered further tests and follow up in Yerevan.

This is a very promising result so far!

If you would like to support this effort to bring hope and health to the women at the border in Armenia, please make a contribution!  If you would like to order these keytags for your church or organization, please write to info@hdif.org or contact us through Facebook.

We are so thankful for all the support you have given to HDIF and its producer partners!

Nerkin Karmiraghbyur Grape Leaf Key Tag
Nerkin Karmiraghbyur Grape Leaf Key Tag
Aygepar Airplane Key Tag
Aygepar Airplane Key Tag
Movses Armenian Chimney Key Tag
Movses Armenian Chimney Key Tag
Leyli from Nerkin Karmiraghbyur
Leyli from Nerkin Karmiraghbyur
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Zara with the youngest
Zara with the youngest

Homeland Development Initiative Foundation(HDIF) was recently down south in Syunik where our partners Sisian Ceramics finely craft their hand made ceramics. Zara and Vahagn support themselves and their three young daughters with their crafts, and HDIF is actively trying to find new markets for them. A British wine producer is interested in having a wine cup included with each bottle wine he imports. An American importer of gift items has asked for samples of their Christmas themed mugs. And Zara and Vahagn themselves have suggested a line of ceramic whistles in animal shapes.

There is never a lack of hard work or initiative in Zara and Vahagn.

With his camera lens, HDIF photographer James Aram Elliott was able to capture the warmth and love that is in that family. Enjoy this little series of photos that together create a potrait this much-loved partner.

The family winter sunbathing outside the studio
The family winter sunbathing outside the studio
Lunch is served at and in Sisian Ceramics
Lunch is served at and in Sisian Ceramics
Zara and Vahag, proud of their products!
Zara and Vahag, proud of their products!
Monkey whistles drying before firing
Monkey whistles drying before firing
Testing a monkey whistle that Mom and Dad made
Testing a monkey whistle that Mom and Dad made

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Anzhela in Movses
Anzhela in Movses

Christmas is upon us! Tis the season to be jolly and more importantly- thankful! So what is HDIF thankful for this holiday season? A lot, thanks to all of you!  

- Manush up in Goghovit is very busy knitting away. She has this month received orders for 25 hats, 25 pairs of socks and 5 sweaters from around the globe. She, disabled, has reached out to her neighbors to meet the volume of orders. The Christmas rush for them will last well into January!

- Zarmig and the other women from Kobane are busy knitting scarves to match Manush's hats and socks. These ladies are from the last four Armenian families to leave Kobane after ISIS attacked their town and murdered one of the four fathers. Knitting is their only hope of creating a sustainable situation for themselves in Armenia.

- Anzhela lives in Movses, which gets shot at regularly by snipers because it is very close to the front line. She and women from several other villages along the border are making key tags in the shape of houses that create an income. They are determined to stay. Orders for those key tags have been ticking in. She is busy!

- Aspram in Berd, also quite close to the front line, has been busily crocheting both teddy bears for a partner in the United States, as well as little bee figures for a campaign connected to honey! HDIF just placed a new order for bees yesterday!

These are examples of hard-working Armenian women around the country that have been empowered by HDIF with your help. And each of them is going to have some money in their pocket this Christmas thanks to the great products they make.

HDIF has dozens and dozens more women working through partners around the country- in Gyumri, Talin, Spitak, Margahovit, Koghb, Chinchin, Vardenis, Sisian, Goris, Kapan and also among the Syrian Armenian refugees. 

So we in HDIF are thankful for the support we get from those who buy the products and support our partners. Yes, thank you. We look forward to your continued support. 

If you are looking for a specific something to support this Christmas season, please consider these suggestions:

1. The purchase of a used mechanical knitting machine for Datvig, a Syrian Armenian refugee whose own machine was destroyed in Aleppo. We have a ready market for her products if she gets the machine. $3000 will cover the purchase of a solid machine and its maintenance.

2. Support to Anzhela and the other women being sniped at along the front line by supporting the project they are creating called 'Help Me Stay in my Home' which will include the marketing of their house key tags, and then investment in carefully selected berry crops next summer. There is an identified market for those berry types.$4200 is needed to get that going for these noble ladies.

3. The purchase of a new kiln for Zara and Vahagn in Sisian Ceramics. The popularity of their ceramic products has outgrown their existing kiln, and they need a bigger one to keep up with the demand. Approximately $2000 is needed to construction a larger, more efficient kiln for them.

4. The purchase of an embroidery machine for Lena and the other ladies in Vardenis Sewing. A solid partner for HDIF, their products sell very well, and it is time to up the ante on what kinds of products they make. A good market for emberoidered items has been identified, but the machine is needed. We estimate that $3000 would be enough to buy a solid used machine.

Note that all of these would be given to them under a zero percent loan agreement. In this way, we instil business principles in them, and create sustainable economic units for Armenia's future.

If you would like any more information, do feel free to contact us at info@hdif.org or at +374-77-473335 in Yerevan.

A very Merry Christmas to all of you. In this turbulent world, we have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks for being part of it.

Tim and the rest of the HDIF staff

Aspram in Berd
Aspram in Berd
Manush in Goghovit
Manush in Goghovit
Zarmig from Kobane
Zarmig from Kobane
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Kapan Crochet women at work
Kapan Crochet women at work

Kapan is a town in remote Syunik region located far in the south of Armenia. Low economic opportunities leave the locals with no other choice than migrating from the region. Kapan Crochet is HDIF’s producer partner, and employs a group of talented and hard-working women who chose to stay in Syunik and face the difficulties instead of migrating from the place. They create beautifully crocheted toys, coin and pencil cases, magnets and other intricate items.

Gohar Hovhannisyan – now the leading woman at Kapan Crochet, was introduced to Robert Matevosyan - a local tour guide in Kapan. Robert knew that Timothy Straight, the founder of HDIF, was looking for women who knew how to crochet and make handicrafts, and introduced him to Gohar. Every contact is a contract. Gohar presented Timothy Straight with the single toy that she had made and the fruitful cooperation started.

Funds obtained through Global Giving helped HDIF to organize trainings for the start-up Kapan Crochet, and accordingly its staff was trained in human resources management, accounting, marketing and sales. In addition, high quality tools and materials were provided to women to make their work more efficient.

On July 2-5, Kapan Crochet products were exhibited and sold at the Navasartian Games in Van Nuys, California. On August 29 – September 1, their products were exhibited in Tendence 2015 International Fair in Frankfurt – one of the world’s largest annual gift and interior fairs. The world got to know about the remote Kapan and its wonderful products, which boosted the quantity of orders from abroad. On September 20-21 Kapan Crochet products were exhibited for the locals and tourists at the expo Countries under the Same Roof at Swan Lake, Yerevan.

Kapan Crochet is now at HDIF online shop, where visitors can choose any product, order any quantity they want and get them shipped to any part of the world. It also has its own website and Facebook page, where potential customers can get information about Kapan Crochet.

The women employed by Kapan Crochet currently have no other means of income. Not having a separate space to work in, the women gather at Gohar’s home and work 8 to 16 hours a day to complete their tasks.

By supporting Kapan Crochet, you are having your valuable input in the lives of women who have no other source of income. As a result, the women feel empowered to provide income for their families and help their children to succeed in life in a place with limited economic opportunities and low living standards.

 

Kapan Crochet Squeakers & Rattles at Tendence Fair
Kapan Crochet Squeakers & Rattles at Tendence Fair
Airplane Rattles from Kapan
Airplane Rattles from Kapan
Armenia Flag Hearts from Kapan Crochet
Armenia Flag Hearts from Kapan Crochet
Countries under the Same Roof Expo - Kapan Crochet
Countries under the Same Roof Expo - Kapan Crochet
Countries under the Same Roof expo - Kapan Crochet
Countries under the Same Roof expo - Kapan Crochet
Christmas ornaments by Kapan Crochet
Christmas ornaments by Kapan Crochet
Sheep booties for Kapan Crochet
Sheep booties for Kapan Crochet

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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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