Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Stories of Hope in Haiti – Trades of Hope

by | Artisans, Stories of Hope

Discover Stories of Hope in Haiti! Haiti endured this century’s worst natural disaster and is home to almost 500,000 orphans. The majority of the orphans have not been orphaned by parental deaths or natural disasters, but by parents who gave them up simply because they could not feed them. The Artisans we work with is an “un-orphanage” and is helping with the orphan crisis by providing parents with sustainable business through creating designs that do good.

(Read Time: 5 min.)

Helping Mamas Keep Their Babies

Haitian Clay & Upcycled Cereal Boxes

Empowering Women to Keep Their Families Together

Illiata’s Story of Hope in Haiti

Illiata is a single mother of five children who lives in an area of extreme poverty in Haiti where safe dignified jobs with fair wages are scarce.

Many other local mothers have been forced to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their children to poverty orphanages to save them from starvation. But Illiata has been able to keep and provide for all of her children with the income she earns as an Artisan.

Illiata and other women in her community cut, roll, and paste discarded cereal boxes and roll natural Haitian clay into beautiful beads to create fair-trade jewelry that provides them with sustainable work and fair wages.

Illiata, Pure Love Bracelet Artisan in Haiti

Erna’s Story of Hope in Haiti

“My husband didn’t have a job and I didn’t have any way to pay for school or a house for my children. I regretted having children and thought about killing myself.

Then, someone told me there was a place where I could go to ask for a job. I came with my two children and the Artisan leader gave me a big hug and told me I could start work on Monday!

Now, I’m able to pay for school for my kids and feed them. I can pay my rent, and this Artisan community has helped me a lot with medical needs. My job also helps me care for my mom and dad. We all live together in a one room rented house.” – Erna, Artisan in Haiti

“My dream is to own my own home where everyone has their own room.”

– Erna, Artisan in Haiti

Upcycled Steel Oil Drums

Eco-Friendly Solutions to Overcoming Poverty

Claude’s Story of Hope in Haiti

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.

Upcycled Aluminum

Using Scrappy Determination to Create Jewelry That Helps Families Thrive

In Haiti, where work opportunities are scarce, we partner with women to create change through design and job creation. With every purchase of their jewelry, women are empowered to receive these jobs in a family-like environment. You can be a part of them receiving an income, health care, emergency loans, educational resources and counseling! Your purchase brings about generational change!

Ismaella’s Story of Hope in Haiti

“In Haiti, life is difficult. In an unorganized society, men often don’t respect women, and fathers often do not take responsibility for their children.

Women have to become strong to survive and to support their children. We are a small community of strong women.” 

– Ismaella, Artisan in Haiti

Genuine Leather & Beaded Jewelry

Ethcially Made Designs by Strong Women

Shirlene’s Story of Hope in Haiti

I’m an independent single mother of a 7-year-old boy. Because of my work as an Artisan, my life is better. It allows me to meet certain needs.

My work has taught me to be a good collaborator, maturity, discipline, and leadership skills. The atmosphere that reigns at our workshop is not found everywhere. We are relaxed.

I spend most of my time in this workshop where we are a family.”

– Shirlene, Artisan in Haiti

“Some of my favorite memories as an Artisan are our outings together. Another one of my favorite memories as an Artisan is when a design that I had worked on was chosen! I dream of one day having my own business.”

– Shirlene, Artisan in Haiti

Hand Stitched Natural Paper Cards

Made by Mothers in Areas of Extreme Poverty

Hermanie’s Story of Hope in Haiti

“Life is difficult in this area because so many people don’t have somewhere to live or food to eat, everything is so insecure right now.

This Artisan community helps us a lot!

The programs they have and the way they motivate us to see that lives can change makes a huge impact.

Because of my work as an Artisan, I’ve had the stability of sending my kids to school, and the opportunity to invest in other things like building my house.”

– Hermanie, Artisan in Haiti

“My favorite part about my work is when I’m paid! I would like to open a restaurant!”

– Hermanie, Artisan in Haiti

Judelane’s Story of Hope in Haiti

“This Artisan community helps people so much in my community!

They build houses, have programs to help families, and provide jobs. I didn’t have any work before I started at this workshop.

I love taping cards. I love that I didn’t know how to before, but I learned, and now I love it!

My life has changed a lot! I have five children to pay for school. The oldest is seventeen, and the youngest is three.

My work as an Artisan helps contribute to things like paying for school. I want to have enough to help my children.”

– Judelane, Artisan in Haiti

“My oldest is going to finish school soon! I didn’t finish school and I am so excited for him to finish!” – Judelane, Artisan in Haiti

Gertrude’s Story of Hope in Haiti

“God sent Kayla and Webert (Gertrude’s Artisan Leaders).

This job has been a provision for me. I am so much more comfortable.

I have five children, the oldest is twenty, and the youngest is almost two.

I was always worried about how I would provide for my children, and this job has changed that.

It has given me a safe house to live in and the ability to feed and send my children to school.”

– Gertrude, Artisan in Haiti

“This Artisan community helps so many people in our village! They build homes and run a school. God can do everything, but my dream is for Him to provide for my children as they grow up!” – Gertrude, Artisan in Haiti

(Originally Published June 28, 2021)

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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.