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Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Makensia’s Story of Hope in Haiti

by | Artisans

Makensia makes our Keepsake Collection Terrain Bracelet in Haiti

Upcycling Cereal Boxes to Fight Poverty

Surrounded by the tropical beauty of Haiti, Makensia is also surrounded by extreme poverty. But neither poverty, nor the death of a child, nor domestic abuse has defined her. (Read Time: 1 min.)

Overcoming Haiti’s Extreme Poverty

Makensia has persevered through many challenging seasons and continues to pursue good things for her family. While many mothers in her village have been forced to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their children to “poverty orphanages” – hoping to save them from starvation – this mother of five has been able to earn enough income to keep her family together by hand-rolling beads and making jewelry from discarded cereal boxes.

Haiti’s Poverty Orphan Crisis

Makensia’s homeland, Haiti, is home to almost 500,000 orphans. The majority of these children have not been orphaned by parental deaths or natural disasters, but by parents who love them, but are unable to feed and care for them. While many poverty orphanages in Haiti are truly safe havens for children whose parents are working toward the hope of returning for their children, other poverty orphanages are big businesses who exploit these children through tourism schemes and exorbitant pleas for donations.

Discovering Hope – The “Un-Orphanage”

Makensia’s Artisan community is part of an “un-orphanage” program that is on the forefront of offering hope in the midst of Haiti’s orphan crisis by empowering parents to keep and provide for their own children through opportunities to earn a sustainable income, as Artisans. Makensia has experienced real hope through this missional Artisan community. Every cereal box bead design she creates helps her continue to keep her family together.

Every purchase of our upcycled cereal box bead bracelets helps Artisans in Makensia’s community send their kids to school.

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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.