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Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Claude’s Story of Hope in Haiti

by | Artisans

Haiti’s Poverty & Orphan Crisis

In the midst of Haiti’s poverty and orphan crisis, a small community of Artisans is empowering women and men to become financially independent by providing opportunities for sustainable jobs creating jewelry, art, and home décor from discarded things. Many of these Artisans were once orphans themselves but are rising up to overcome the challenges they have faced and pursue their dreams.

(Read Time: 1 min.)

Abandoned & Orphaned

Abandoned by his mother as a young boy, Claude became orphaned and alone when his father passed away. As a child, Claude worked alongside the Artisans in his village to provide for himself. As a teen, he sold handcrafted Noah’s Arks at local fairs.

As extreme poverty and the geographical limitations of island living challenged Claude and his fellow Artisans to find affordable and readily available materials, they began to upcycle discarded steel oil drums into handcrafted creative expression of beauty and art.

Claude, Upcycled Steel Oil Drum Artisan in Haiti

Inspiring Others to Hope 

Now in his late 20’s, he is highly respected by the dozens of Artisans he oversees. His team of steel Artisans continues to create eco-friendly upcycled designs that inspire hope. Together, they create hand hammered wall art, inspirational metal signs, and holiday ornaments. Every new design is a beautiful reminder that hope has the power to create extraordinary and desirable beauty from ordinary and discarded things.

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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.