In the shade of a gated courtyard in Haiti, a small group of women gathers together at a long thin table filled with crafting supplies. In the middle of the table is a kaleidoscope of colors – red, blue, green, yellow – an endless rainbow of star-shaped figures, topped with bright red ribbons. It’s hard to imagine these festive ornaments started out as discarded cereal boxes. Even more amazing are the stories behind the hands that made them.
(Read Time 3 min.)
Each star is carefully crafted with grateful hands… grateful hands of mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends who create beautiful art from discarded things no one wants anymore. Many of these women have felt discarded, unwanted, and worthless themselves, before discovering dignity as Artisans.
In the midst of extreme poverty, political unrest, and daily battles to overcome their culture’s discrimination against women, they’ve found purpose, community, and value sitting around a table together, rolling beads with their hands…
…grateful hands that hold babies, because now they can afford to keep them…
…grateful hands that cook breakfast, because now they can buy enough food to feed their families…
…grateful hands that hold each other through their day to day struggles of life, because they are more than common co-workers… they are part of a sisterhood.
Each woman’s life is as unique and colorful as the stars she crafts. But each one is a story of dignity and hope overcoming the darkness of poverty and lack. Each one is a story of women, who once felt discarded, unwanted, and worthless discovering purpose, community, and value.
These women’s lives have been forever changed – not by charity – but by opportunities to provide for themselves and their families through dignified work. Every purchase of their upcycled cereal box designs helps open the gate of opportunity for another woman to walk out of lifelong poverty and fear… into a new life filled with new possibilities and hope.