Tuesday, October 15, 2013
When Shelley Clay first came up with the idea to make jewelry from paper beads, they turned to Leo and Richard, two street kids who often visited the Apparent Project buildings.
“Would you guys like to try to make beads?”
“Sure.” And they became first bead rollers.
“Can you figure out how to make bracelets?” And they did.
These two teenagers became experts in jewelry making and trained many people.
“Professor” Leo, has a natural business savvy. Just 18 years old, he works for the Apparent Project and supports his family – he is one of 18 kids.
“Little” Richard and his brother were raised by their widowed mother. He is currently going to high school and works in the Papillion Boutique after school and on Saturday.
“I am Jack. Since I was six months old, I had a really bad sickness. When my mom went to the hospital, the doctor said to threw me away because I wouldn’t have life because the situation was very bad. The sickness that I had was sores on my body. When we went to another doctor he said when I reach my teenage years I will be healed. But now I am still alive. I am working to help my family and myself. My dream is to go to the United States and study computer things.”
Jack had a difficult childhood. Although he did grow up within his own family, his skin condition was such that he was neglected by everyone except his mother. He was teased by his peers and ridiculed by others. But Jack turned out to be very bright and an amazing worker. Together with his brother, Pierre, he manages the the Apparent Project’s Papillon Boutique in Port Au Prince. Both Jack and Pierre use most of their wages to help with medical expenses for their mother, who is battling cancer in the Dominican Republic.
The Papillon Boutique
The Apparent Project (AP) provided food, medical help, and diapers and formula for the baby. They also hired Makilene for the day to wash clothes for a small wage. She turned out to be a very hard worker and AP offered her a deal: go get your other children, come back to work for us and we’ll pay for an apartment for you for a year.
In January Makilene returned with her family and moved into a small cinderblock apartment. Four days later the history making earthquake struck. Makilene’s home stood strong and she and her family were unharmed.
Makilene became a diligent worker at the AP creating beaded jewelry. Then she developed a dream. She wanted to own her own home. She worked out exactly how many bracelets and necklaces it would take to achieve her goal, paid special attention to what products were selling the best and figured out exactly how to make them. She worked hard and over time successfully saved much of the money she needed. Her determination to make her dreams come true became known and people sent in donations and helped her meet her goal. She is now the proud owner of a two room house with a small yard.
People say her countenance has changed, that where she was once hopeless she now has great self-esteem and confidence. She also has another goal, one that many Haitians share: sending all of her children to school. We have no doubt she’ll succeed.
Market Haiti is proud to work with the Apparent Project and other artisans in Haiti to help develop skills, provide employment, and keep families together.