This year’s theme is Equal for Each, meaning an equal world is an enabled world. Helping Haiti Work is seeking to change the inbalance, one girl and woman at a time. By providing both reproductive and menstrual health education, we give girls the tools to better care for their bodies. Supplying them with a menstrual kit that lasts for three years gives them the opportunity to attend school without stigmatization and focus on their studies. Our seamstresses that make the kits, as well as our educators, are being provided with a living wage so that they can better support themselves and their families while also building their self-esteem and standing within the community. This is how we are taking action for equality.
Although the political and economic chaos continues in Haiti, we have been able to maintain financial support both of our seamstresses and microloan women because of our supporters generosity. During the recent MN Gives campaign, we received $3400 in donations. Pictured above is our first loan group in Port Margot, our third microloan site. They received their loans of $250 each in September and were all able to repay their first loan installment plus interest on time last week. Our seamstresses submitted an invoice (noted above) for the work that they have completed in the last few months. They were able to sew these items because we had the funds to install solar panels and bring in upgraded sewing machines and bolts of fabric. Our inventory of completed products has continued to grow as the number of mission groups visiting Haiti has sharply decreased due to travel warnings. We are hopeful that when mission groups return, they will continue to remember our organization and our support of the hardworking Haitian women.
LIZ HICKERSON’S QUILT SALE 2019
Fri. OCT. 25 1:00-3:00 Sat. OCT. 26 10:00-12:00
LAP/NAP SIZE CONTEMPORARY QUILTS
QUILTED WALL HANGINGS & RUNNERS Incorporating Fabrics – From around the WorldHand Dyed Surface Designed Commercial
Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka (UUCM)2030 Wayzata Blvd. E.Wayzata, MN 55391
PROCEEDS GO TO:daysforgirls.orghelpinghaitiwork.orgnettieandfriends.bolgspot.com
BRING YOUR FRIENDS, RELATIVES, NEIGHBORS, STRANGERS…Questions? Call Liz @763-559-0372 or e-mail beaconLH9@yahoo.com
Education and knowledge create a girl force that’s unstoppable. That’s why in addition to distributing washable pads, @daysforgirls focuses on health education. This education is the key 🔑 to creating long-lasting, sustainable change in communities. #IDG2019
Educating girls is one of the least expensive and most effective tools to reduce infant and maternal mortality while improving the socioeconomic growth of a community.
The smiling faces of our Haitian seamstresses and their drivers are because they have secured the gasoline to fill the tanks of their motos and be able to make it home to their families. This gas cost $25 per gallon and was difficult to locate. Haiti is currently suffering the effects of unpaid fuel bills by the governmental elite and the subsequent lack of gas shipments to the country. Due to the solar panels that were installed earlier this summer and materials that arrived by container shipment in February, they are able to continue sewing components of the reusable menstrual pad kits. Unfortunately, most of the orders placed by mission groups have been retracted as the groups have had to cancel their trips. At last count, we needed to refund groups for orders that involved just over 800 kits. At $9 a kit, that is $7200 of lost revenue.
A crew of nine American women, led by Elly Schreder, traveled to Haiti 2 weeks ago to meet with the seamstresses and share food and community while teaching them how to construct surgical hats for sale in the community. The women were hosted by a local Rotarian who gave a lesson in business practices. Two distributions of kits, in addition to reproductive health education, were accomplished as 100 girls received their kits. Given the lack of gasoline and prominence of protests, much was accomplished and the Haitian seamstresses were hopeful that their good luck would continue as they work to support their families.
Unfortunately, the gasoline price has continued to rise and most public transportation has been shuttered. The streets are bare of cars and motos while food scarcity is becoming a growing concern. Currency has been devalued by half while the cost of living has increased by 25%. The math does not work for even the most elite. When a pregnant women is finally able to get to a hospital after an obstructed labor they are often turned away as the hospitals are unable to locate gasoline to run their generators and power the operating rooms.
Those of us who support the citizens of Haiti from afar are left helpless to view news stories and frustrated by our ability to help. At HHW, we have reassured our seamstresses that they will continue to be paid for their work even if we are not able to sell the menstrual pad kits at this time. Luckily, the sewing centers are within walking distance of their homes and the sewing machines powered by solar panels. By the end of this unrest, we may have enough menstrual pad kits for the entire country of Haiti!
Days for Girls recently sponsored a Refugee Project to distribute reusable menstrual kits in Afghanistan, Lebanon, South Sudan and Somalia. Our Plymouth DFG chapter was able to contribute 25 kits to the effort that have not already made their way to Haiti. While the need in Haiti remains enormous, we recognize that there are other parts of the world where women and girls can face even greater challenges as they navigate life in a refugee camp away from all that they have previously known. After a world-wide donation drive of only 3 months, over 33,000 kits will be distributed with the help of World Vision.
Helping Haiti Work is the grateful recipient of funds thru a second mile offering at Messiah Methodist church in Plymouth, MN. They have been faithful supporters of our mission to help others so they can help themselves and live their motto of “being the hands and feet of Jesus”. Thank you for creating this lovely video to share our story.
Our new industrial grade sewing machines arrived via container this winter and were installed in the recently renovated space in Limbe. Unfortunately, the machines could not be adequately powered by the generator and the rising cost as well as sparse supply of gasoline necessitated a new plan. A trip to the Dominican Republic was made to purchase solar panels and a Haitian electrician installed them on the third story roof of the building. Once the machines were functioning, a lesson was given to all the seamstresses in how to operate the new machines. New projects for construction include mens/boys boxers and surgical caps.
Menstruation is not a woman’s issue. It is a human rights issue.
This article exemplifies how women in Haiti share the same struggles with other women in resource poor countries. HHW is trying to change menstrual hygiene practices thru education and making cloth menstrual pad kits available for young women.