Berd Berry Eco Center
Please help the first domino fall!
Starting with a single teddy bear in 2011, the Berd Women's Resource Center Foundation(BWRCF) has blossomed into a series of projects that employ dozens of women in Berd and the surrounded villages. Only a few kilometres from the front line in Shamshadin, the women of BWRCF are busy making hundreds of jars of Berd Berry jams, thousands of finger puppets, key tags and pencil tops, bags and bags of herbal tea, hundreds of Berd bears and more...
Sounds idyllic and perfect, doesn't it?
Only one thing missing, and that is a home. In the past four years, BWRCF has been bounced around from one borrowed office to another...a dentist's extra room, a political party's empty office, and most recently an empty room in the old library - which has no toilet. This last place is slated for reparation at any time, so the clock is ticking for BWRCF to find a new place.
Let's make that place permanent! Help that first domino fall.
A half-finished building with a large garden has been identified that will house the new Berd Berry Eco Center. According to their strategy, the goal is to:
'promote ecotourism in the region through expanding the capacities of eco-production, establishing a B&B and simultaneously creating jobs for local unemployed women of Berd.
Currently, the production of both handmade crafts and berry jams/tea is organised at the Berd Women's Resource Center's office, using only a limited area for two working groups. The majority of the products are sold during the local and international festivals, some part is sold in Yerevan, at the shop of our partner organisation of HDIF (Homeland Development Initiative Foundation) located on Parpetsi 13, and via our Facebook pages , website , as well as straight from BWRC office.
The demand for our products is increasing year by year, due to competitive advantages, such as a high quality of handmade products, being ecologically clean and safe, unique packaging made of environmentally-friendly materials. As for certification, handmade toys are already certified as a safe clean product(WFTO certified and being presented in annual Fair Trade, in Frankfurt), jams completed the certification process in Autumn 2018.'
What is needed? Where are the $ coming from?
Step 1. Property purchase: $12.000 Go Fund Me, Angel Investor
Step 2. Building completion: $21.825 HDIF-USA, United Nations, other donor
Step 3. Furniture: $4.548 Other donor
Step 4. Production equipment: $4.301 Other donor
Step 5. Garden upgrade: $3.707 Other donor
How does your contribution to this campaign fit into this puzzle? It is the first domino of this whole set up. Almost all donors have said 'If you have the building, then we will invest in you'. The first domino needs to fall. This is where you come in. If this campaign raises $6.000, then the angel investor kicks in. This secures the building and land. Then HDIF-USA kicks in, then the UN kicks in, and the dominos keep falling. We can do this.
For any other information regarding this campaign, please contact BWRCF president Anahit Badlian by leaving a message on this campaign. The Berd Berry Eco Center strategy and detailed budget are available.
Push that domino.....
On this Christmas Eve our supporters Sue and Karnig from Australia received their gift from a group of women, who knitts Berd Bears and spread their love through these handmade cuties. This is a real example of Armenian proverb that says "Give and you'll be given".
Քրիստոս ծնաւ և հայտնեցաւ։ Մեզ և ձեզ մեծ Ավետիս։
So what was the peculiarity of the day for me? A woman, who makes chrochetted frog and duck mini animals for BWRC, REFUSED from her salary wishing on this way to make a contribution in the reconstruction of the eco center... I was shocked enough, as I visited their house and am aware about their lifestyle very well; son is serving on the front line, sick grandma, a tiny house lacking minimum facilities.
On the same time some human beings came to my eyes, who were hardly moving on the weight of Christmas gifts and variety of food, so much food...
Wishing to finish my post on positive note, I just wanted everyone to feel happiness despite of burden, that some bare on their hearts and some-on their hands...
And we have still time to thank our Great supporters, who invested from their heart into the development of our villages to see them stronger in the future, as this is their future too.
Happy New Year to all of you!
So now Berd Berry got an opportunity to purchase necessary equipments for berry production line, due to the funding of UNDP GEF Small Grant's Programme. What else we need for being happy?
The number One issue is the absence of the ROOF of our building, where the production line will be installed): And we have very short time for that, until the frost's beginning.
We really, really need to reach our goal of $5000, which could be a huuge Christmas gift for 30 future employee women of eco center!