Mirlande Faustin and Sherilne Bernard are two proud young women who recently received promotions at Haiti Projects. Mirlande started working at the artisan workshop in 2012, and Sherline started in 2013. When they began working, they were Ironers, responsible for ironing each and every product once it was finished being hand washed. Products range from hand-emrboidered cotton batiste nightgowns, canvas market bags, hand-embroidered sachets, little girl dresses, to linen aprons. About six months ago Mirlande and Sherilne were promoted to the level of Assistants. They now attach labels onto products, remove stray threads and, most importantly, perform quality control inspections.
Both women speculate that without their jobs at Haiti Projects they would have no other employment prospects, and would likely be sitting at home. Not only do their jobs give them income, responsibiliy and a cooperative of women to be a part of, but also their jobs have allowed them to make investments that will benefit their families and the community. Mirlande has purchased some goats and a pig, and Sherline was able to build a small extension onto her family’s home for herself. When we invest in women, we trigger prosperity for the whole community.
Last month, Haiti Projects participated in the largest Artisan Fair in Port-au-Prince. Two of our key artisans, Enite and Carole tended to the fair visitors, explained the embroidery, the products and the importance of jobs to women in Fond des Blancs, Haiti. In addition, the fair orgnaizers held trainings on how to set up a fair booth, how to work with customers, helping Carole and Enite learn to sell the products that they make to others in Haiti.
Haiti Projects was also interviewed by the longest running national newspaper in Haiti, Le Nouvellist, prior to the fair (follow link below to the article in French). This one article sent potential buyers our way, asking questions and buying products.
Because of the support that Haiti Projects receives from all of you, we are able to take advantage of these opportunities to grow and expand the Artisanat. Stay tuned for big news about more jobs to empower women coming soon...
We met up with Ella who is one of our top embroiderers in the Fond des Blancs market place last week. Ella is embroidering a mermaid design for one of our key customers. When she is done with her piece, she will bring it to Haiti Projects and be paid for her piece work. The piece will be quality checked, washed and then ironed at the Artisanat Workshop. While she embroiders for Haiti Projects, she is also able to run her small business selling breakfast sandwiches in the market place, take care of her kids and raise her goats and chickens. Piece work allows artisans flexibility in setting their hours, their tasks and where they choose to work.