HAITI SEWING TEAM MISSION
(a letter from Molly Golando to Valerie Clark)
I am just back from the sewing team mission. It was amazing! We didn’t have as many women as originally planned, but had an American team of 4 women and 9 Haitian participants.
We have hired a Haitian Supervisor who will be able to help the women one day a week for the next 10 months. During the week we were in Haiti the women, most of who had never done any sewing more than replacing a button, were able to finish an order for 40 backpacks (a church heard about the project and in faith stepped out to send the first order), they learned about how to run a business and how to maintain the machines. We brought 5 new Elna 320 machines from donations throughout the conference and over 250 lbs of donated supples. They are now working on creating backpacks, tote bags and a variety of smaller purses. They will be decorated and hand embroidered. The backpacks will sell for $10 and tote bags will sell for $15 – 20 depending on the handwork. They are also working on creating name tags from plastic and locally produced material which can be used at many events. These will sell for $1 each. I hope to have an inventory by the middle of April brought to me from a mission team that will be in the area at that time.
They women are very excited and so am I!
They women created a logo and a name. The name for the business is “Bel Fanm Kap Koud,” which is “Beautiful Women Who are Sewing.” They drew their own logo. It has a coconut tree, which is from the Haitian flag, and mountains in the background which represents the terrain of Haiti. I was able to pay them each $20 for their work during the week and they decided together to start a bank account with $90 for future expenses. We also talked to them about tithing what they earned and I believe they will give back from their earnings.
I have attached some photos.
The photos are of the logo, the women displaying the totebags they created and a picture of the women and translators working at 2 of the five sewing machines. I also attached a picture of the hand written letter delivered to us just before we left for home. It is written in English, which was difficult as only one woman in the group had any English at all. The first word is generous, after that you should be able to read everything. It is very touching!
I would love to travel wherever through the conference to tell about this trip. I will be sending a complete financial report to conference projects. And of course I would like to apply for the another grant to continue the education. Next year they want to learn how to use patterns to create clothing. We are not planning to teach another beginning course because we are encouraging the Haitian women to become the teachers in the next beginning course themselves!
Thanks for the grant! It is changing the lives of these Haitian women, their families, their communities and their country! It also changed the lives the of the 4 women on the team!
with peace and hope,