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About this program
Over 20 years ago, we initiated the Handcraft Project in support of an Indian development program that offered job training in traditional handcrafts to women at risk.
Although we began as a service project, our goal was always "help for self-help". It was a joy when the women registered their craft societies with the Indian government in 2001, forming an independent non-profit organization of their own.
Today Aruna Designs, our handcraft project, is proud to partner with the Premalaya Handicrafts Society (formerly Shanthimalai Handicrafts Development Society), a resilient Indian Fair Trade business that provides ongoing training to artisans.
Aruna Designs has a two-fold purpose
- Our first purpose is to import and market handcrafts from women’s Fair Trade cooperatives in India.
As an importer we pay higher than market prices to our sources in India so that the artisans can make a living wage and have good, flexible working conditions compatible with caring for their families. Since many of the women are poor and of low cast, this work is truly a lifeline.
- The second part of our mission is to raise funds for a school sponsorship program for poor rural children in South India.
Aruna Designs has become a steady income producer for Aruna Partnership, making it possible to give further support to the projects we believe in. Because education is key to raising the standard of living, we give a large percentage of our profits, often more than 50%, to Aruna Partnership's School Sponsorship Program.
Each year profits from our handcraft sales help cover overhead expenses for Aruna Partnership, ensuring that every dollar you donate goes directly to the programs of your choice. Donate Now