Youth Entrepreneurs Peace

Broadcast on September 07, 2012
With Priya Samant & Rami Zarrouk

Priya Samant

Founder of EarthFrendz

Priya Samant is the the Founder of Earthfrendz, an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible enterprise. She grew up in Mumbai, India and came to United States in 2000 to work as a consultant in the field of software and technology. In founding Earthfrendz her aim is to create self-empowerment and socio-economic development for urban poor. Earthfrendz vision is to drive consumers to make the right purchasing decision which can help promote socio economic growth on a domestic and international platform.

Earthfrendz is an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible enterprise. By providing entrepreneurial job opportunities to women, men and the youth they empower and encourage them to have sustainable livelihoods in their own communities. Currently they work with promising and talented artisans in the urban slums of India specifically in Mumbai and New Delhi. Their upcycled products are completely made out of natural fibers and recycled materials thereby fulfilling their commitment to be environmentally sustainable.

Rami Zarrouk

Co-Founder, Bethlehem Hands

Bethlehem Hands was established by Rami Zarrouk, Maysoun Zarrouk and Aida Zarrouk, a Christian Palestinian grandmother whose family has lived in Bethlehem for generations. Bethlehem Hands works with local women artisans who produce embroidered fabrics made into beautifully handcrafted accessories, women’s apparel and decorative items. The colorful designs are based on the traditional patterns worn by Palestinian women during the last century.

The artisans who make these products live in Bethlehem but the embroidery designs reflect influences from many regions in Palestine. Each of the artisans has a unique story: a husband who can’t find work, a family member who is sick and needs extra care, a single mother, or a handicap that limits outside employment. Of course, these are universal stories of hardship – but these artisans are struggling with these challenges in a region beset by daily turmoil and unrest as well as economic hardship. Bethlehem Hands has been created to help these women. The income derived from selling these products goes directly to the artisans to support their families, provide them some economic stability and help them live in harmony with their neighbors. Rami and Maysoun are the proud parents of three boys who keep them very busy.