The Maiwa Foundation was established in 1997 by Maiwa Handprints Ltd. It was registered as a private trust in 2001 to help fund practicing and re-emerging artisans in the craft sector. The fund is to support work that develops higher level skills or to sustain existing skills. The Maiwa Foundation has carried out numerous charitable activities for the benefit of artisans and craftspeople in developing nations.
Though Maiwa Handprints Ltd. and the Maiwa Foundation share similar views, they are separate organizations. The first is a commercial enterprise while the second is a non-profit organization dedicated to education and the relief of poverty.
The Maiwa Foundation has as its purpose reducing poverty in rural villages by promoting the economic self-sufficiency of the artisans living in such villages.