I had the privilage of spending a few hours with the REBUILDglobally team. When I say privilege, I mean it. The staff (both Haitian and American) are extremely passionate about what they are doing. They are not making sandals, they are changing futures. They are creating jobs from old tires that would otherwise eventually be burned or thrown into the river (or both). This is a fine example of paradigm shifting. How awesome are they?!...
In a country where cultural behavior will naturally ask for a job in the face of desperation (asking for a handout is not a cultural norm in Haiti), REBUILD has sacrificed much and worked tirelessly to provide these hard working men and women with a skill, education, life skills and a chance to walk down the street with their head held high knowing that THEY are the ones that put a roof over their head, a meal on the table and a child through school.
I could have listened to the stories; the trials and victories all day! What? You were robbed?!? rather than give up, you were able to find money to get the tools needed, add security to the site and keep going?! (that was my inner monologue). This is perseverance by definition. No matter what the obstacles, REBUILD's team has worked together to overcome adversity.
REBUILDglobally and their fearless leader Julie, are proactively working toward self sustainability... What do I mean you may ask?... by that I am referring to getting their foot in the door (haha... no pun intended) with places like PacSun, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Having consistent demand from large retail stores in US, RG will not only be able to offer more apprentice spots (guaranteeing high school graduates jobs), but also hire more staff now and further impact the dynamics of a country fighting hard to stand on their own.
Thanks Julie and crew for letting me impose for a few hours and carting me around!
Happiest feet EVER
Hard at work
apprentice program garden: planted & ready to grow