Our "Shop for Lasting Change" Story

"It’s taken a few lifetimes for some of these individual handcrafted items to find their way to us here in New Zealand. Each item tells its own story, its journey to help individuals, orphans, widows, and entire communities.”

Sue van Schreven, Founder, Orphans Aid International
Sue van Schreven, Orphans Aid International founder and CEO

Our collection started from humble beginnings on a trip to Nepal in 2008. Orphans Aid Founder, Sue van Schreven, returned to New Zealand with Nepalese fair trade bags to sell as a fundraiser. They sold out quickly, so she ordered more items; slippers, pashminas and scarves purchased directly from contacts in Kathmandu. 

At the same time, women in Kolkata were making beautiful greeting cards for us from recycled paper and straw as a way of being free from brothels. Trips to visit our partner projects in the Northern hemisphere saw us return with Russian dolls made locally and beautifully hand painted. They sold like wild-fire.

We’re proud of today’s carefully curated, growing collection of ethically sourced goods from around the world.

Early on, we decided to be fussy, to be strong about who we purchase from and how we go about this, which has served us well. We established our own Orphans Aid approved standard to ensure every purchase empowers and provides. We've gone on to develop our own line of products ranging from boutique roasted direct and fair-trade coffee to home goods, so we can pour even more funds into giving vulnerable children and families the hope, help and care they deserve.

Ours is a story of supporting and giving a hand up. We want to make sure we are building communities, not causing division or strife amongst suppliers or taking advantage of those in dire need. We’re about preventing children from being abandoned due to poverty, seeing families being given a chance to succeed, and seeing long term community change - children, families and whole communities thriving.

Choosing to buy from Orphans Aid doesn’t just preserve the rich heritage of traditional crafts; it also offers many artisans a dignified way to support their families. Additionally, your purchase helps provide funds to our global partners dedicated to providing care, education and hope to children in need.

Shop with purpose and together we can make a difference!