Every week day I work with seven Haitians and together we make jewelry out of recycled plastic. The jewelry we have been producing lately has gotten more complicated and intricate, but I’ve noticed more pride in the work as we check things off our “production list”. In fact, the other day I had to make a “priority list” of things to complete that are in high demands in the States. Viviane said quite bluntly afterwards, “no problem, we will get it done, we are awesome.”
There is such beauty in that pride. It is a pride that so few Haitians feel because they simply don’t have anything to take pride in.
It is something I’ve learned about the Haitian culture actually: once a person is trained to do one thing, that’s all they believe they can do for the rest of their lives. My one friend has been a driverall his life, when I asked if he could be a person who oversees and manages small projects for me he simply stated, “I don’t know, all I have ever been is a driver.” But he is so much more than that. It is just a matter of making them believe it. Growing up in a society that encourages the American dream and anything is possible theology, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the the theology of oppression, poverty and no way out sort of living. A not-so-beautiful kind of life.
ViBella, though, is beginning to change this mindset. I make sure my coworkers know they truly are awesome, they are worthy of praise, and should be so very proud of their work.
Yesterday I had the chance to participate in a vendors fair here in Haiti and it was so encouraging to see what so many other people are doing to make life more beautiful for so many other Haitians.
I wanted to share some of my favorite ministries I got to connect with yesterday. To me, it isn’t a competition because all the glory goes to the same God. So, here are the links and consider buying unique Haitian gifts this year and help make life a little better for the people here.
ApParent Project:using discarded materials to make jewelry, journals and home decor.
2nd Story Goods: makes really unique stuff out of recycled, found items in Haiti.
Haitian creations: jewelry beads made with cloth, handmade purses and other Haitian art.
3Cords: social enterprise making sweet head bands, purses, computer covers and other gifts
And of course ViBella is my favorite, so don’t forget to visit our site for Christmas shopping too!! (www.vibellajewelry.com)
Love from Haiti