The Haitian Earthquake occurred two years ago today, January 12, 2010, and the island is still working to rebuild. Reports like the one in todays Washington Post cite progress, but there is still a long way to go. With the press of events, other problems, and our busy lives, its easy to let Haiti slip away from the top of our agendas. Here are threeprojects that are having an impact in Haiti, helping women and communities rebuild their lives. If you are interested, I am sure they would appreciate your support.
The Dam Dam Womens Craft Cooperativeis an income-generation project that makes really great papier mache jewelry and other items from recycled paper. I have bought many pieces myself! The designs are a wonderful mix of traditional Haitian and modern. The project has beenin place since September 2010 and targets women primarily in Leogane, a town that was almost entirely destroyed by the earthquake. Every penny of profit is sent back to the village. Dam Dam needs funding to support a local staff person to help them continue to grow this business.
Women in Production 2012 is an international trade fair for Haitian women entrepreneurs and artisans to showcase and sell their products directly to retailers.I went to the fair in 2011, and it was a great venue for women to sell their goods to retailers in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. The high quality crafts, gifts, fashion and home dcor accessories, herbal and spa products are amazing. The trade fair needs funds in order to be able to ensure that the fair in 2012 can bring artisans and retailers together.
Contributions for either of these projects can be to the Haitian AmericanChamber of Commerceof Florida (HACCOF), 1510 NE 162nd Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162, (305) 733-9066, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the project name on your donation.
We Advanceis an amazing non-profit dedicated to helping advance the health, safety and well-being of women in Haiti. Founded by my friend Maria Bello, its work has centered in Wharf Jeremy and Cite Soleil, the poorest slums in Haiti, and provides basic health services and adult education. In 2011, We Advance delivered these services to over 50,000 Haitians.