Back in the days when HDIF was organizing regional festivals in Armenia, it acquired equipment that has been sitting in storage for several years. When the festivals were in high gear, they included sheep shearing in Goris, wheat celebration in Vardenis, berry festival in Berd, and taraz festival in Shirak.
Recently they had a great idea -- donate the bouncy houses and large inflatable balloons to our producer partners. This month, three bouncy houses and two balloons were donated to communities in Berd, Vanadzor, and Yeghegnadzor - and lots of kids were smiling!
In Berd, the new festival equipment was donated to the Berd Women's Resource Center's new Eco Center. Enjoyed by the children in Berd and the surrounding regions, the bouncy house and balloons also represent a source of income when rented out for special events. HDIF-USA supported the construction of the Eco Center with the 2019 Share the Love campaign.
In Vanadzor, the equipment was given to the Boo Alternative House. "Boo," which means "owl" in Armenian, is the name given to an innovative, forested space for young people to gather for educational, cultural, and recreational activities in this region. The Boo House is the only one of its kind in the entire country.
In Yeghegnadzor, the bouncy house and balloons were donated to Artissimo NGO for its Voskeporik therapy center for children with disabilities and special needs. HDIF-USA supported the establishment of a therapy center in Yeghegnadzor, serving more than 200 children, with the 2020 Share the Love campaign. This vital work helps children and their families learn how to adapt to their special needs and become better integrated in their communities.
This Month's Featured Producer Partner
Gohar Hovahannisyan from Kapan
Located at the bottom of Armenia's panhandle and close to the Iranian border, Kapan is wedged between high mountains and splintered by numerous valleys. The name itself is derived from the Armenian word Kapel (to lock), a reference to the interlocking mountain chains that converge here.
Our producer partner, Gohar Hovhannisyan, leads a team of 13 women in Kapan who crochet a wide variety of products. Gohar is responsible for one of HDIF's most iconic products...the Armenian flag heart keytags that we all love. Her group also produces measuring tapes, squeakers, rattles, pencil cases, car and airplane rattles, coin purses, baby booties and hats.
Right now, she and her talented ladies are crocheting 100 moose to fulfill an order for one of HDIF's German clients. They gather at a public library in Kapan to work because they have no other place to congregate. Gohar's friend works at the library and gives them the opportunity to work there.
Her group has the capacity to employ more women if they receive more orders. She has been working for many years to learn and teach quality control. Gohar says that the quality of their products has been perfected, and they are eager to produce more items, particularly for export clients.
The Latest from HDIF-USA
Mother's Day is right around the corner! HDIF-USA has a wide variety of unique, handmade gifts for all the special moms in your life. You can add a gift message at checkout and your purchase will be sent with your personal Mother's Day greetings. A free mask will be included with every purchase between now and Mother's Day. Who's ready to shop?
HDIF has been asked by the United Nations Development Programme in Armenia to make 300 custom masks, 150 with the UN logo and 150 with the UN logo and Armenian flag. HDIF has employed two Syrian Armenians, Liana and Vani, to fulfill this special order that will be delivered in May. The UN has maintained an office in Armenia since 1992.
HDIF-USA's executive director, Beth Broussalian, will be the guest speaker at the annual (but virtual) Spring Tea, themed "Then and Now," hosted by the Daughter's of Vartan of San Francisco (Araxi Otyag). The event is taking place on May 22 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. For questions and to attend, please contact Lesley Bazigian Kissick at email@example.com.
HDIF in Yerevan
HDIF'S OFFICE & SHOWROOM: ISAHAKYAN STREET 18, 2nd Fl, Rm 6 (Two blocks from the Ani Hotel; call ahead before visiting)