Supporting Haiti through employment and locally sold essential goods
Helping Haiti Work opened two sewing centers in Limbe and Ranquitte villages in the northern part of Haiti in 2016. These sewing centers provide jobs for Haitian women, supplies of essential items to their communities, and women’s health education. At the sewing centers, women construct reusable menstrual pad kits, diapers, baby blankets, and other sewable items as needed. Our seamstresses are paid a living wage for their work and also have been trained as Ambassadors of Women’s Health, providing education to girls and young women in their communities. The sewing centers are designed to provide long-lasting support to these villages through job creation and educational opportunities.
At least 500 million women and girls around the world lack access to adequate resources for managing menstruation, often leaving them susceptible to forced school dropout rates, poverty, early childhood marriage, and sexual exploitation. Along with the reusable menstrual pad kits, our seamstresses are trained as Ambassadors of Women’s Health, so that they can educate girls when they are distributing the kits in the areas where they live and work. 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.
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. Days for Girls has provided Helping Haiti Work with the concept of the reusable menstrual pad kits as well as organizational support.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Helping Haiti Work received an international Rotary grant in 2018, and the funds are used to make the Sewing Center as sustainable as possible. So far, the grant has funded the purchase of sewing materials in large quantities, the construction of the Cap Haitian sewing center, the installation of solar panels, the salary of a manager, and shipping costs.