Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF)

«Հայրենիքի զարգացման նախաձեռնություն» հիմնադրամ (HDIF)

February E-News

Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF)

HDIF Launches Its Biggest Easter Collection Ever

Get your home ready for egg hunts and spring celebrations with HDIF's Easter decorations collection, that features wooden crosses and eggs, knitted and felt eggs, the Easter Bunny and more!  This

orgeous 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 trade handicrafts," stated Tim Straight, HDIF founder and executive director.

However, the popularity of the Easter collection has extended beyond the Buy Armenian movement in the Diaspora.  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 Sheuhmelian 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 col

laborating with refugee artisan groups and local social enterprise partners. Maral is originally from Aleppo, Syria. As a child, she learned embroidery techniques from her grandmother. When she lived Aleppo, embroidery wasn’t her line of work, but she started a business with other embroiderers in Yerevan.  This Month's Featured Producer Partners

"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 competition, 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. Share the Love 2021

HDIF-USA Founder and Executive Director Beth Broussalian
presents a video tour of the Koghb Art School and Yereqnuk HandicraftsHDIF-USA's Share the Love 2021 fundraiser is focusing on JOBS, JOBS and more JOBS to help stimulate income in the rural, border town of Koghb and its surrounding community. On Thursday, HDIF-USA Founder and Executive Director Beth Broussalian took a 4-hour car ride from Yerevan with HDIF Founder and Executive Director Tim Straight to visit the impressive Koghb Art School and Yereqnuk Handicrafts and see first-hand where all the magic happens!  The video captures the artistic process that renders the beautiful items produced by Koghb's gifted artisans.  

We are raising 

$7,000 to purchase a laser cutting machine that will allow the artisans to diversify and expand their line of #MadeinArmenia products. This new technology will be the gateway to endless possibilities with a wide variety of materials like leather, wood, plastics, glass, stainless steel, paper, and more.  The end result will be new products that can be sold by HDIF and HDIF-USA around the world.

The creative team at the Koghb Art School and Yereqnuk Handicrafts was founded in 2007 by teachers Anna Nasibyan, Satenik Ghulijanyan, and Arusiak Pashikyan. The students in their classes learn everything from illustration to painting to sculpting. They produce beautiful handicrafts, including wallets, bags, glassware, and metal jewelry. The Koghb Art School inspires young adults to complete their higher education and make a living in their hometown.Donate to Bring Jobs to ArmeniaThe Latest from HDIF-USA

Hippety hoppity Easter's on its way!  HDIF-USA is currently in Armenia to collect its first BIG ORDER of 2021.  Easter products will be available for online order in the U.S. starting the second week of March.  The new product line will include a wide variety of knitted, embroidered, and felt egg ornaments, painted wooden crosses, felt bunnies and chicks, and much more!  Shop HDIF-USA OnlineWhat's Happening Next Month

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

Little By Little

GlobalGiving’s 2021 March "Little by Little" Matching Campaign runs from Monday, March 8, at 12:00 AM EDT to Friday, March 12, at 11:59 PM EDT.  During the Little by Little campaign, all eligible donations up to $50 per unique donor per organization will be matched at 50%. Matching funds for HDIF will be available throughout the entire five-day campaign. Little acts of kindness can make a BIG difference.  Please donate from March 8-12. Click hereHDIF in Yerevan

(Two blocks from the Ani Hotel; call ahead before visiting)

Showroom hours: Monday-Friday 10AM-6PM. For inquiries, call 77 47 33 35 or email

HDIF is the only World Fair Trade Guaranteed organization in the former Soviet region. www.hdif.orgBe Social With Us


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