Hearts United with Haiti
You have read about the children that were part of a trafficking ring in an orphanage in Port au Prince (if not, read the page about Life is Wealth Orphanage on this website). Well, some of those original girls that were moved to Port au Prince were reunited with family members. We, as an organization, have made it part of our mission to come alongside those families & former orphans we have been able to keep in touch with. Our goal is to insure that the girls finish their education and are given opportunities to learn skills that will help them be productive members of their communities and families. BUT, in keeping with our philosophy, they have their part to do too. They must prove to us that they are being responsible to continue to stay in the program.
There are two sisters (Darline & Mimose) and their cousin (Jesula). There are other children at home, but we are only committed for now to the ones rescued from the orphanage. All three now have children of their own to care for and are doing well.
The first year we were involved with these girls and their families, each family earned a goat. One was stolen but the other has gone on to produce more than 2 sets of offspring (2 kids each time) which gives the family some wealth now. After that first year, the girls asked us to help them find a way to raise money and help their families with expenses. Together we came up with the idea of making friendship bracelets that we could sell to teams and others.We eventually sent them to a school where they learned new patterns. Here is a breakdown of how it works:
- Each girl must purchase materials from us that will be used for making bracelets (we buy the string in the USA and charge them for whatever materials they use)
- The bracelets are made- different patterns and lengths.
- They are picked up and placed into inventory. A basic fee of about $1.00 US is paid for each bracelet that passes inspection.
- Once placed into inventory, the bracelets make their way either back to the base in Carrefour or to the USA where they are sold (by donation) to interested people. Suggested donation is $5.00 each.
Every three months we visit the girls and pay them half of whatever profit they have made and pick up new bracelets to sell**
(we first subtract the $1.00 we paid for the bracelet and then the cost of replacement string, then we divide the profit by 2)
** the other half of their profit goes into an account in the USA to be given to them later
(time to be determined- this way they are forced to save some)
So far the girls making bracelets have been able to buy chickens, clothing, a small/cheap cell phone & minutes, shoes, food for the family, seeds to plant corn,...
NOTE: If YOU would be interested in receiving some bracelets to sell, contact us. We send bracelets all over on the honor system. You sell them and send back the money. This program has taught them a LOT about managing money, the value of things (ie: "How many bracelets do I need to sell to get ***?"), etc...
We call the program "Bracelets of Promise" because we have promised to help these girls.... truly help them to become as independent as possible. We have been incredibly impressed with the three who are making bracelets and are working hard for their own future.
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