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Our History

Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF) was founded on March 25, 2013.  It will celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2018.  HDIF is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) born of the Homeland Handicrafts project, which was founded by Norwegian and Finnish Honorary Consul in Armenia, Timothy Straight.

As a grassroots organization, HDIF is a non-profit effort dedicated to the creation of jobs - mainly for women in the rural regions of Armenia - by utilizing their traditional handicraft techniques and materials. HDIF is one of the few social entrepreneurships in Armenia, striving to achieve excellence in all spheres and increased efficiency on all its projects. Contributing to the growth of HDIF are women, children, and disabled Armenians in over 10 villages and towns across the country. 

The inspiration for HDIF’s beautiful products come from a variety of different places.  For example, there are hand-knitted teddy bears, following the unique pattern of a German nun who once lived in Berd. There are sewn kitchen accessories bearing traditional Armenian themes. There are dolls designed to replicate the ethnic Armenian costumes of various regions of Western Armenia. There are tiny, crocheted animals, sewn iPad cases, knitted sweaters, beautiful embroidery, hand-hewn woodcrafts, and more!