Made by Me
Oftentimes in life, first experiences rarely change; like a mirror reflecting the emotion lived, good or bad (the first joy, the first sorrow, the first success, the first failure, the first achievement), every time we relive that experience. Thus, happy childhood creates path for happy future, and all the children deserve to be happy. However, children from orphanages live different life, very isolated from real life benefits and challenges. There are 19 orphanages and special schools in Armenia. However, more than 90 percent of children in residential institutions in Armenia have at least one living parent. Parent(s) often bring children to the orphanages themselves or children are separated from them because of violence or various social issues. All these factors create psychological pressure on children, and they become more introverts, who lack self-confidence and don’t believe in their own abilities. As a result, even kids with bright minds and talent end up nowhere, isolated from society and not being able to maintain their life. Since 2016, Global Shapers Yerevan Hub in cooperation with the Mothercare retail company in Armenia launched the project “Made by Me” to make the day of talented kids from orphanages special and teach them how to use their talent to progress. As part of the project the kids are first introduced to the organizational structure of the company, then with the help of the professionals from Mothercare do the merchandising and pricing of their handmade works and learn how to negotiate and sell products. They present their works to the clients at Mothercare store with enthusiasm and special treatment. After hard and rewarding work kids enjoy different entertainments and fun activities. The money raised during the event is used to buy materials for the future works of the kids and some gifts for them as a reward for their own work. During the first year, the event was held with participation of 25 kids from Gavar and Gyumri orphanages in two separate days. Kids worked hard and raised 148,000 AMD on the first day and 176,000 AMD on the second day of the event. The clients were surprised by the love and care the kids put into their works and bought some of them as a present to their family members and friends. During the second year the event hosted 30 kids from F. Nansen orphanage in Gyumri, SOS Children's Village, and a special educational complex of children with hearing impairments. The goal of the event was to empower these kids and inspire them to take an active role in building their future. During the event kids introduced their amazing hand-made works and the visitors had a chance to get to know them and buy their handmade items. Total of 300,000 AMD was raised by the kids. During these two years we were able to teach entrepreneurial skills and transform the mindset of the kids from expecting to be given something into initiating and creating something on their own and be rewarded for their talent and hard work.
- Teach the children from orphanages to be the change agents of their own lives by driving happiness and increased self-esteem.
- Develop entrepreneurial skills by teaching selling, communication, negotiation skills and showing the possibility to earn by selling handmade products.
- 55 children from orphanages were engaged in the program for two years getting practical mentoring from Mothercare․
- Over 1000 EUR was raised during exhibitions, which were fully spent on the materials for children's later works and their rewards․
- Based on the information from the orphanage staff, the children who participated in this program showed increase in their confidence and self-esteem becoming more courageous in taking new steps․
Organizations and Stakeholders:
SOS Children's Village
Special School for Children with Hearing Impairments