Tragedies happen around the world every day. And with the improvements in technology, and especially social media, cries of help can be heard from far across the oceans. When these tragedies strike, charitable donations pour in from every corner, until our attention is averted somewhere else. Although initial fundraising was enormous, the world has moved on to supporting other tragedies like Japan and stable income is hard to come by. Heart of Haiti’s goal is to continue helping those in Haiti by allowing them to continue their passion for art and support their families.
Heart of Haiti’s motto is Trade, not Aid. After the terrible earthquake in 2010, Haitians had huge barriers to overcome to continue to make a living. Because of the destruction, raw materials have been wiped out, sanitary conditions are poor, and transportation is difficult.
Through this initiative, Haitian artisans produce home goods and jewelry from available materials which are in turn sold by Macy’s. Artisans receive 22 percent of the retail price for each item in the collection. This initiative offers the first sustainable income since the earthquake, enabling artisans to repair homes, pay school fees and feed and clothe their families. With steady income comes better nutrition, improved education and access to healthcare. Master artisans who planned to leave the country are now staying behind to train the next generation.
One of these artists, Onel Bagdais, said that Heart of Haiti allows him to send his son to college, a dream that many Americans share. Heather Whaling, a blogger who traveled with Heart of Haiti to meet with some of these artisans said, “One of the metal workers explained it, the Heart of Haiti program helped him provide healthcare for his family and send his kids to school for the first time.”
One woman asked Whaling not to let people “forget” about Haiti.
For more information about the Heart of Haiti initiative, join the #pr20Chat on Tuesday, April 26, 8 ET/ 7 C on cause giving featuring @heartofhaiti.
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via Flickr by Wonderlane