Darzah is a project of Child’s Cup Full, a 501(c)3 non-profit social enterprise. The idea for Child’s Cup Full began in 2008 when Dr. Janette Habashi, a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma, accompanied her students on a fundraising initiative to support grassroots education programs for refugee children in the West Bank. The local Palestinian community appreciated their assistance, but a group of mothers looking for a long-term solution to their economic strife approached and asked Dr. Habashi if she could help them find jobs. As the local economy does not offer reliable work for women, Dr. Habashi knew that finding work for these women would be extremely challenging.
After much contemplation, Dr. Habashi found that the best solution would be to create jobs for these local mothers. Thus, Child’s Cup Full was born. Despite not having any background in business, Dr. Habashi was committed to helping these women. This brave decision was supported by her community at the University of Oklahoma, provided she took various business courses to ensure the success of the organization.
Upon completing a semester of business classes, Dr. Habashi set out on developing a brand that could utilize her background in educational psychology and the Palestinian mothers’ desire to work. This led to the creation of Zeki Learning, the sister brand to Darzah. Zeki Learning is a children’s educational resource brand committed to creating high-quality learning materials that promote cognitive development and language learning for preschoolers. The brand exclusively employs women from Zababdeh and its neighboring regions, where access to work is particularly scarce.
As word began to circulate about Child’s Cup Full and the jobs it was creating, more and more women began approaching the organization for work. In order to help more women, Dr. Habashi decided to form a second brand. Inspired by the knowledge of tatreez embroidery that is prevalent in the region, she created Darzah.
Since its founding in 2014, Darzah has grown to include six full-time and 22 part-time artisans. Child’s Cup Full has created an artisan center, located in Zababdeh, where our artisans come together to build community. Due to the demanding nature of tatreez embroidery, many of our artisans choose to work from home to simultaneously care for their families. This is made possible by our lead artisan, Rahaf, who delegates work and coordinates the pickup and drop off of materials to each worker. As Darzah continues to bring on new artisans, Rahaf travels to their homes to train them in additional techniques and skills, such as how to embroider more efficiently. Women from the community continually contact us in search of job opportunities. As we grow, we are able to hire more workers and offer our current artisans additional training. To continue offering additional services to the community, growth is central to our company.