Project #11898

Invest in Haiti's Future Leaders

by REBUILD Globally
Students fill out applications RG
Students fill out applications RG's Headquarters

Recruiting New Students:

Thanks to our incredible donor support, REBUILD globally was able to expand the number of its Apprenticeship Program participants this year -- from twenty to thirty students. In July, eight of our students graduated high school and completed the program, leaving space for eighteen new applicants to join for the coming school year!

Our Education Program Manager worked tirelessly to recruit the most vulnerable and most qualified students for the program. He received applications from more than sixty students, and among them, he selected thirteen young women, and five young men.

Below are a few quotes from the applications of the selected students:

Wenson (9th Grade): "Education has been the greatest gift that my mother has been able to give me. It is one of the most important elements of life."

Wismie (8th Grade): "If I were President of Haiti, on my first day, I would start making more schools and more hospitals. I would provide more electricity, and I would clean the streets."

Maika  (8th Grade): "I believe that education is the first need of the people. I believe that education is like food. When a person nourishes themselves with education, tomorrow will change for the advancement of my country."

Transforming Leadership:

In order to accommodate the expansion of the Apprenticeship Program, REBUILD globally offered our Education Program Manager, Djemson, a salaried position. Last year, Djemson served as a part-time staff member, but now he will be able to dedicate himself to the program full-time. He is currently working on hiring additional tutors and support staff for the program.

Commitment to the Most Vulnerable:

Beyond the formal Apprenticeship Program, in the 2015-2016 school year, REBUILD globally will continue to finance the education of four young men forced to work in the streets due to their extreme vulnerability. Jameson, Gitson, Givenson, and Elton have each been granted a financial scholarship that will cover their school fees, books and uniforms. Our leadership team is confident that school will serve as a form of discipline for these young men; an escape from their stressful daily routines, and a pathway out of their dangerous lifestyles.

A Vision Becomes Reality:

Since its inception, the mission and vision of the Apprenticeship Program has been to provide employment opportunities for its students upon their graduation. In order to make this vision possible, sustainable, and duplicable, our team was tasked with implementing a training curriculum that would allow our graduates the opportunity to transform from pupils to professionals. Celebrating the graduation of eight students in 2015 was one of REBUILD globally’s proudest moments to date. The pressure was on, however, for our leadership to provide these students all of the tools necessary to become successful members of our sandal-making team at Deux Mains Designs.

The commencement of this training was an opportunity to prove that our unique model that blends traditional business with development was all that we dreamed it could be. The training began on September 1, and has been a tremendous success thus far. Our Haitian Management Team – the shareholders of Deux Mains Designs -- have worked together to create and implement this training.

Jean Robert, our Quality Control Manager, has spear-headed this effort by teaching the apprentices all of the intricate processes involved in making Deux Mains sandals, and ensuring that each and every one of them has the skills necessary to create beautiful sandals of the utmost quality.

Jolina, our Workshop Supervisor, has dedicated herself to teaching the students about respect in the workplace, and how cooperation and commitment to ones’ craft are the ultimate ingredients for success.

Finally, Brunel, our Haiti Liaison Officer, has held seminars throughout the trainings to provide the students with a blue-print for personal financial success. Topics included how to budget your money, how to avoid overspending, best-practices for savings, and how to open a bank account.

On Tuesday, September 15, the students received their first paycheck for their training compensation. Each student is being paid well over the local minimum wage for their participation in the training. When asked what they would use the money for, they all collectively agreed that they would use their income to enroll in University preparation courses. All of the students are reassured in the knowledge that, if accepted into University, they will be able to pay tuition through a part-time job at Deux Mains Designs.

In an informal Management Team Meeting, Jean Robert reported to his fellow shareholders, Brunel and Jolina, on the perspective he has gained from working with the trainees for five hours every day: "I am so impressed by their intelligence," he raved. "They are so respectful and so eager to learn. I know they will make a really great addition to our team at Deux Mains. REBUILD globally’s Apprenticeship Program has been preparing them for this for the last few years, and it shows."

Closing Remarks from REBUILD globally’s Country Director:

It has been a transformative experience to watch our Haitian Management Team step so seamlessly into such profound roles of leadership to work with the former Apprenticeship Program Students as they transition into Deux Mains Employees. I am filled with gratitude and pride that everything our Founder, Julie Colombino, set out to accomplish with the incorporation of a scholarship and training program is coming to fruition. In all of the time I have spent in this beautiful complicated country, I have never seen anything like what is happening right now at REBUILD globally and Deux Mains Designs. It is revolutionary. It is world-changing.

Someone once told me that the one wish they had for Haiti was that it would be "normal." What would it look like if life was a little easier for everyone? If jobs weren’t as difficult to come by? If people could successfully take care of themselves and their families without support from charitable aid? Indeed, how refreshing it would be for the population of Haiti to wake up each morning to the resounding comfort of "normalcy"

Thanks to our donors, this is what is happening with the collaboration between REBUILD globally and Deux Mains Designs. We are creating "normalcy." We are breaking the cycle of generational poverty. These young people will look back on their youth and their young professional lives very differently than their parents do. They will look back and think about how they graduated high school, paid for their own college by working part time, or held a full-time job to start financially preparing for adulthood.

In the past, most of our staff members at Deux Mains Designs knew the pang of fear that they wouldn’t be able to provide food for their families, or send their children to school. Fortunately, they now have a job that ensures they will never have to experience those fears again; but the memory of those days will never leave them. These young people, however, will never have those painful memories. They will come into adulthood with freedom from poverty and insecurity’s powerful grip.

At 62, Mami Anne is the eldest member of our staff. As the trainees filed into the office to collect their first paychecks this week, she said to each of them: "I wish I had started working with Deux Mains when I was your age," she said. "My life would have turned out much differently. I would be a different woman today. You are blessed in your youth, and in this opportunity."

Djemson and a new student, Antoinette
Djemson and a new student, Antoinette
Brunel teaches students financial best practices
Brunel teaches students financial best practices
Levy works diligently on the daily assignment
Levy works diligently on the daily assignment
Deux Mains Shareholders: Training Faciliators
Deux Mains Shareholders: Training Faciliators
Jean Robert conducts daily training
Jean Robert conducts daily training
Graduates with Djemson
Graduates with Djemson

Did you know the national average for students passing the final exam in Haiti is only 30%?  At REBUILD globally, 100% of our senior students passed the national exam!!  With this great success we celebrated our very first graducation at our workshop.  We were absolutely thrilled to celebrate the graduation of our 7 senior students last Saturday from not only high school, but each student successfully completed the Apprenticeship program. The tutoring provided by your generous contributions to our program certainly empowered our students to perform well and pass their exams.  In addition, our graduates are extremely optimistic that they will all succeed as they anticipate entering University next year.

Based on the business training course through the Saturday program your dollars have enabled us to adminster, two of our students learned skills to start their own “small businesses”. Jonise is selling drinks to the other students during the lunch break and is thinking of ways to increase her small business during this summer vacation. Mirthana a second year student is selling candies and cookies during this summer vacation in order to save money to help her cover her transporation fees.

The deux mains workshop in Haiti is eager to welcome the 7 graduates of the Apprenticeship Program to our sandal making team this year.  The graduates will now be entered into dignified, livign wage jobs due to their success in the Apprenticeship Program.

The economic situation in Haiti remains dire due to extreme poverty, natural  disasters, and poor infrastructure. However, REBUILD globally is able to support an additioanl 10 students to our program this year with all of your support and contributions from our wonderful donors!  

Thank you for your continued support!

The REBUILD family

Djemson and Jonise with graduation certificate
Djemson and Jonise with graduation certificate



The REBUILD globally Apprenticeship Program was created to support vulnerable youth in Haiti by providing an academic scholarship and job skills training.  We are thrilled to announce that eight of our students will be graduating this year.    This is such an unbelievable accomplishment, as the national average of high school juniors to pass their national exams in Haiti, is 30%.  Yet, 100% of our juniors passed this year!

The Apprenticeship Program was born in the wake of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake as an effort to get young people off the streets, in school, and eventually secure them with a job at our Deux Mains sandal workshop in Port Au Prince.  However, our students’ dreams have changed.  Thanks to the training they are receiving, the world has opened up to them, broadening their vision for their future.  Most intend to go on to University, and many have expressed the desire to share the knowledge they have gained with other Haitian youths and start their own businesses.

 We are pleased to highlight three of our students:

Jonise is a 21 year-old young woman who has become an entrepreneur based on the business skills that she is learning through the Apprenticeship Program.  Jonise is an excellent student who sells cookies and soda to the other students in the break time during the Saturday Program at REBUILD globally. This allows extra money to help pay her transportation fees to and from to school and to come to Saturday program each week.

Jameson is15 years old.  He used to spend all of his time begging in the streets because his family could not afford his school tuition and basic needs. Through our Scholarship Program, Jameson is now going to school and is maintaining high marks. His teacher said that: “he is one of the best students in his class.”

Betiana is 18 years-old.  She is one of the best students in our Art Program. Betiana plans to share the knowledge she has gained to children from different orphanages in Port-au-Prince by teaching them arts, specifically how to make handbags and purses using re-purposed trash.

We are so proud of our 20 students and honored to support them. We could not do any of this without your support.Thank you for all you are doing to invest in Haiti’s future!

2014-15 RG Apprentices!
2014-15 RG Apprentices!

The REBUILD globally Apprenticeship Program begins its 4th year with a reason to celebrate - this year, because of a 2-month IndieGoGo campaign and several outside donations, all 8 of our seniors are completely funded for their school fees, books and uniforms!

A Senior Year in Port au Prince can range from $400 - $600 per year, including the books they are required to buy and the uniforms they are required to wear.  It is by far the most expensive year, and in order to better fund the program as a whole, we decided to run the IndieGoGo campaign for a more personal, individual approach to sponsoring the students.  Upon graduation, the students will have exponentially more opportunities for either university, vocational schools or a different career of their choice - choices they would not have without a high school diploma.

The results of the campaign were fantastic - due to generous contributions from New York, Florida, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and everywhere in between, we were able to reach 96% of our goal!  Individual donations ranged from $10 to $500, and one group together raised over $1,500 in one afternoon.

We are not only grateful for the contributions, we are amazed at the energy and time our supporters have put into sharing the link, sending along email chains, and spreading the word.  We are truly grateful for the community that has been built and for the extensive support for the Program.

REBUILD globally would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed, for every dollar, for every Facebook "share," for everyone who mentioned our campaign this summer!


Woobensky: RG Apprentice and Future Doctor!
Woobensky: RG Apprentice and Future Doctor!

At the REBUILD globally Apprenticeship Program, we believe we work with the most extraordinary and talented young people in Port-au-Prince, and that it is a privilege to contribute to their educational development. One of the ways RG does this is by seeking out successful, motivating Haitians to mentor and engage with these amazing young people.

Recently, we had a visit from Samuel Alcide, the Base Manager at a local grassroots NGO, Haiti Communitere. Samuel spent several years working in the US and has been with HC since they opened 4 years ago. He runs the organization’s daily operations and also contributes to the organization Konbit Music, which connects musicians from Cite Soleil. He spoke to the apprentices about responsibility, work ethic, and management skills. The students were thrilled to hear from an inspiring role model about applying for jobs, the differences between working in Haiti and the US, and community involvement.

One of the students who benefited from Samuel’s presentation is an 18 year old high school junior named Woobensky. Woobensky is learning artisan skills and dreams about making Haiti more beautiful and secure. He wants change for Haiti: less trash in the roads, more jobs. Woobesnky now hopes to become a doctor. With dedication like his, we know he’ll make it. Instead of playing with friends or becoming involved in gang activity, every Saturday Woobensky shadows a local physician to gain experience.

Woobensky is a smart young man who is overcoming the challenges in his life with hard work and perseverance. He knows how important it is for children to attend school. That’s why opportunities like the ones offered by the RG Apprenticeship Program are so vital in Haiti. Investing in education and skills building leads to a brighter future for individual Haitians, their community, and the entire country.

We want to thank you for supporting REBUILD globally with your love and generosity. Without it, apprentices like Woobensky wouldn’t meet inspiring role models like Samuel. Please consider continuing your support of the RG Apprenticeship Program and students like Woobensky. Your donation covers more than just school fees and books; it allows exceptional youth from vulnerable backgrounds the chance to work hard, expand their minds, and accomplish their dreams. Hear more stories about our other awesome apprentices by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. Or please consider supporting REBUILD globally in style by purchasing your own pair of Strides sandals in our online store.

With gratitude,


Samuel presenting to RG Apprentices.
Samuel presenting to RG Apprentices.



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Organization Information

REBUILD Globally

Location: Orlando, Florida - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Emily Davenport
Apprenticeship Program Manager
Prolongee, Haiti
$1,172 raised of $5,000 goal
18 donations
$3,828 to go
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