My colleague Marisa and I met Julie Colombino over lunch in Port-au-Prince. Her excitement about the work she’s doing in Haiti was contagious as she showed us the sandals that her organization is producing out of recycled tires. Some of the shoes are given out in Haiti to those who need them, and others are sold to foreigners to help subsidize the cost of those given away. Her organization, REBUILD Globally, is new to GlobalGiving, just recently succeeding in an Open Challenge!
She explained some of the difficulties REBUILD Globally has experienced in the past few months during start-up phase (limited funds, learning sandal design) and some of the successes (creating a great product, increasing employment in her community, keeping kids in school).
The organization currently employs 8 full-time staff (6 women and 2 men) and are paying for 25 children to remain in school through the production of the sandals. Her dream is to expand the sales of the sandals into US markets, which would allow the organization to expand. She’s teaching her staff to be leaders, so as the organization expands, each of them can start their own sandal-making ventures and employ more people in their communities.
We’re excited to have REBUILD Globally as a new GlobalGiving partner and hope to see more of their sandals on feet here in the US soon!
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