Thanks to your support we are able to continue providing jobs for 100 women in rural Haiti, including Michelle. Michelle has been working in Haiti Projects' Artisanat since 1996. When she first started her income helped her to pay to go back to school and to help her parents financially.
Today, Michelle is a mother of three young children. She works hard to ensure that her children have access to educational opportunities that she did not have as a young child. She loves the work environment at the artisanat. "It is a place I look forward to going to each day to work alongside the other women in my community. The artisanat is a place where I can escape the daily stress of life and keep my mind busy," says Michelle.
Some of our artisans, like Michelle, are piece workers, meaning they make money based on the number of products we sell. The more work that Michelle and the women have the more money they are able to make. Your donations go directly to help us offset our costs and support Michelle and the other artisans.
We are continuing to grow our artisanat cooperative's brand, Maison d'Haiti, by looking for new wholesale customers and increasing our marketing activities. After completeing a cost analysis of our products we have had to increase our prices due to global inflation so that we can continue to provide fair trade wages to our artisans.
Your support is essential to this project and we could not do this without you. Another way you can support our artisans is by purchasing one of their handcrafted products from our store - Maison d'Haiti.
Unfortunately during the period covered by this project report, Haiti has continued to experience massive challenges.
On July 7th, the country awoke to find that the president, Jovenel Moise, had been brutally assassinated overnight. This has caused massive political disruption, particularly as it was very unclear as to who should assume power in his place.
On August 14th at 8.30 am Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake that registered 7.2 on the richter scale - larger than the one that occurred in 2010. The area hit was much more sparsely populated than Port-au-Prince, however the earthquake killed over 2,200 people. Many more were injured or lost their homes. This disaster occurred at a time when the country is experiencing a complete vaccuum in leadership. The earthquake took place in the south of the country, which is where Fonds des Blancs is located. Damage to Fonds des Blancs was minimal, however the indirect effects of this earthquake, coupled with the political instability and violence that are occurring will be substantial. The population was badly frightened by the initial quake and the many aftershocks that followed.
Haiti Projects was able to respond to the earthquake by making sanitary pads for hygiene kits to be distributed in the south. We also provided some emergency loans to staff who needed to repair their homes. Our clinic was slightly damaged and we have temporarily moved into a different location.
In spite of all these difficulties, Haiti Projects is continuing to do our best to provide stable employment for women alongside healthcare, education, livelihoods and sports.
In addition to our emergency response, we have recently fulfilled an order for sanitary pads for a local organization and hope to expand on this iand other nitiatives in the future through further partnerships.
As the United States covid-19 statistics trend down, Haiti continues to have low death and confirmed covid-19 cases, although the country has now entered a second wave. As of May 24th, Haiti has had a confirmed 14,037 cases, with 292 deaths. In response to the second wave, Haiti Project has installed more handwashing stations, reinstituted temperature checks on arrival and we held a refresher sensitization session with all staff. We also continue to practice safe social distancing practices in order to protect our employees.
Our Artisan Cooperative continues to produce our most popular products, our hand-embroidered Garland Nightowns made from 100% cotton batiste, and our sachets filled with organic, open-bud lavender grown in San Francisco, California. The women who work in our Artisan Cooperative rely on their full-time work to provide essential support for them and their families.
There is still a high demand in the Fond-des-Blancs community for reusable pads. We hope to be able to fund our pad project in the near future. Like Haiti Projects, many of our wholesale and retail contacts have been affected by the global pandemic. They provide essential raw materials for our Artisan Cooperative, and lack of necessary funding bars us from supporting our contacts, and maintaining necessary supplies to produce our most important and demanded products.
Any support and help in these challenging times is greatly appreciated.
As of January 20th, Haiti had 10,963 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the rate of mortality thankfully trending downward at 2.19%. As we continue to deal with the repercussions of COVID-19 in 2021, we are thankful for the continued support of our followers, and the generous gifts from donors over the holiday season.
In January of 2020, we had 103 women working in our Artisanat Cooperative. This January, we are happy to announce that we have begun reopening our operations, and we now have 92 women in our employment. It has been important to devise safe and effective strategies to get our artisans back to full-time work, as their employment provides essential support for them and their families.
We have refocused our production to produce our most popular products, mainly our hand-sewn and embroidered nightgowns, and our hand-made sachets filled with organic, open-bud lavender. Although there is a very high demand for reusable pads in our Fond-des-Blancs community, we have had to stop their production due to lack of funds. We have struggled to attain the raw materials needed to produce them, and without the necessary funding, we can not continue with this project.
Any help and support during these challenging times is greatly appreciated.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, we have been downsizing and pivoting to meet this new challenge. Along with these challenges came challenging decisions. We downsized operations in order to keep our employees safe and spread them out in a way that would respect social distancing recommendations. We scaled back our production team in order to conserve resources. While the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Haiti still remains uncertain, 8,600 cases have been officially confirmed while 26,445 cases are suspected as of September 20th, 2020. Thankfully, Fond des Blancs has had no confirmed or suspected cases reported.
We pivoted production and began prototyping reusable, washable masks. The mask production was key to keeping our women artisans employed and ensuring that the most vulnerable and poorest communities in rural Haiti are safe from COVID-19. We trained a total of 50 seamstresses--40 from Fond des Blancs and 10 from AFASDA, an NGO in the Cap-Haitien region on mask training and production. Our artisans produced 10,000 masks which have been donated to all of our staff, marketplace vendors, local authorities, partners, and clinic patients. With schools now open, we have focused mask donations primarily to school administrators and students.
Starting this month, we have shifted to our normal line of production at the Artisanat and have the women working in rotation on nightgowns and pads. We are eager to ramp up production to full speed by January 2021, however this is contingent on increased stability from our suppliers and logistics contractors. Our ability to procure raw materials these past few months has been severely impacted by COVID-19.
Help us ramp up production and support our artisans during these challenging times.
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