Peace Corps Volunteers John Hart and Caroline Lucas helped launch a women-owned small business in Armenia selling and producing handmade stuffed bears. Since the Berd Bear project started in March 2011, the women have sold 230 bears, and generated thousands of dollars.
“The women of Berd are incredibly talented and hardworking. They put a lot of pride into their craft, which is evident in each carefully and lovingly handmade bear,” said Lucas. “As sales of the Berd Bear increase, more local Armenian women are able to work in full-time positions with the BWRCF.”
Additional income generated by sales of the Berd Bear is used to provide members of the foundation with training classes in basic computer skills, business development and other topics.
“Aside from the financial benefits generated by bear sales, the women are also gaining business and leadership skills,” continued Lucas. “Now, these women can help support their families.”