This Palestinian Non-Profit Employs Local Artisans, Empowering Women With A Living Wage

March 2, 2020; Georgette Habashi (left) works with artisans Shireen Mansour, Abeer Dauod and Doaa Fayyad at Child’s Cup Full in Zababdeh, a village located in the northern West Bank. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Written by the staff at West Bank organization Child’s Cup Full

Child’s Cup Full is a non-profit 501(c)3 foundation that financially supports women in the West Bank. Our mission is to economically empower marginalized women artisans across Palestine. Our vision is to bring Tatreez [a traditional craft of cross-stitch embroidery practiced by Palestinian women that has become an important symbol of Palestinian culture] to the world by making easy to wear accessible shoes, bags, accessories, or home decor. 

Our founder, Dr. Janette Habashi was born in the Old city of Jerusalem. She completed her undergraduate degree at Bethlehem University with a focus on social work. The process of completing her undergraduate degree was slowed down by the first intifada and Israeli government closing the campus numerous times leading the university to move the campus to several different locations.

Due to the unpredictability of learning, Dr. Habashi worked at a Blind school as a special education teacher, as well as worked as a case manager for those with addiction. Following her education, a friend helped Dr. Habashi enroll at Kent State University in Ohio USA where she would complete her doctoral degree in Education Psychology.   

Darzah founder Janette Habashi

It was partly because of her background as a social worker and the sense of injustice you have as a Palestinian that led her to founding Child’s Cup Full. It was 2008 when Dr. Janette Habashi had the idea of creating the foundation, after going to the West Bank on a fundraising campaign that went towards grassroots education programs for refugee children in the area. While the trip was successful, and there was great appreciation from those in the community, there was a call for the work to continue.

A small group of mothers had expressed their hope for a long term source of income, and had spoken with Dr. Habashi on how to achieve this. She understood that providing women with opportunities could have long-term benefits as they would be able to care for themselves and their families economically. It was from this understanding that Child’s Cup Full was formed, eventually launching in 2014. 

March 2, 2020; Georgette Habashi (left) works with artisans Shireen Mansour, Abeer Dauod and Doaa Fayyad at Child’s Cup Full in Zababdeh, a village located in the northern West Bank. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Through our brands Darzah and Zeki Learning, we provide women in Palestine employment and training opportunities. Darzah is an ethical fashion brand which employs women artisans in the West Bank to make tatreez embroidered, handmade shoes, bags, accessories, and home decor items. Our mission is to economically support our women artisans by providing them with fair wages and working conditions. Every purchase goes towards the salaries to our artisans, employment programs, and job training.

Our second project, Zeki Learning, is a non-profit educational toy brand that is geared towards children and assisting them throughout their educational journey. Made with Montessori principles, our toys help develop fine motor skills, sensory skills, language learning, and emotional intelligence. The purpose of Zeki Learning is to promote developmental skills in toddlers and preschoolers and help with their cognitive and physical development. Like Darzah, Zeki is Fair Trade certified, as we are committed to offering fair working wages and conditions to our artisans.

The black flat dorsay shoe

Through Child’s Cup Full, we aim to empower women in the West Bank, where over 60% are affected by high unemployment rates. With Darzah and Zeki Learning, we help women provide for their families by earning a salary that is above the local standard. We make sure that our artisans feel fulfilled and confident to achieve their dreams for both themselves and the community.

Over the years we have made great strides with economically empowering women in the West Bank. Since our inception in 2014, we now employ 6 full-time and 26 part-time artisans, who come from nine different villages North of the West Bank. We have a strong presence in the community and find a growing number of women wanting to join our organization as artisans. Fellow organizations in the community contact us to learn more about what we do, and how they can sell them to a global market. We are proud of the work that we have done since our founding and look forward to continuing to grow our foundation to help women in the West Bank.

Zeki Learning artisans working

In order to further expand our mission and impact, we are launching a crowdfunding campaign to create jobs for marginalized women across Palestine. 

Through this campaign our mission is to:

  • Empower marginalized women
  • Improve economic standing
  • Increase gender equality
  • Enhance Palestinian artisan skills
  • Healthy working conditions
  • Increase access to resources

To achieve our campaign goals, we need your help and support. If you would like to know more about how you could support our campaign, please visit our campaign page

Click here to know more about us, our campaign, and what we hope to achieve in the coming years through the campaign.

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