It’s back to school for much of America. Time for school also in Haiti–a nation rebuilding from a devastating earthquake and years of political unrest.
Few schools are free for the children of Haiti. Either the schools are run by a charity (my church supports one in Dubuisson, Haiti,) or the parents must pay for fees, food, transportation and uniform.
Because of low incomes and comparatively high education fees, an average adult Haitian completes less than three years of formal education. 80% of students stop attending school by the sixth grade.
Since the earthquake in 2010, there has been emergency aid, but few jobs. Haitians are desperate to work. They have amazing artists and a culture rich in color and beauty, but few ways to market anything they create.
In an effort to replace aid with trade, Macy’s launched the Heart of Haiti program by joining forces with Fairwinds Trading and BrandAid. With a $50,000 grant from the Clinton-Bush Haiti fund, the artists’ studios (or ateliers) are being rebuilt and a lovely collection of decorative items and jewelry has been produced for sale at Macy’s.
Artists, both men and women, use the money they earn from their art for food, healthcare and the education of their children.
The Heart of Haiti collection has already led to the employment of 400 artists in Haiti and provided financial benefits for over 4,000 of their family members.
The collection is truly helping the people of Haiti rebuild their lives and communities through commerce and culture.
Enjoy this short film documenting a recent trip to Haiti to visit the artists.
What Can You Do?
Simply, shop Heart of Haiti products at Macy’s. Buy the beautiful items for yourself or give them as gifts. I think they would be thoughtful gifts for a housewarming, weddings, birthdays and Christmas.
You can give a unique and special present and also know you are helping Haitians support their families and rebuild their country.
Most items in the collection cost between $10 and $60 and are made of recycled or sustainable products like cement bags and candlewood. The metal goods are made from oil drums, flattened and fired.
I have been provided with two lovely, hand-crafted heart pendants to giveaway to raise awareness about Heart of Haiti’s commitment to helping Haitians rebuild their country with the work of their own hands.
When you wear this heart pendant, know that you have a one-of-a-kind item that contributes to the people of Haiti.
Like all the metal goods of the collection, it is forged by hand from a recycled oil drum. I love it and wear it as much as possible.
- Check out Heart of Haiti and leave a comment telling me about your favorite item.
For bonus entries:
Please leave a separate comment for your entry and any bonus entries.
On Friday, August 26, I will randomly select two winners and notify them by e-mail. If I haven’t heard back within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
Disclosure: I was provided with a heart pendant and a picture frame to review for this post. All opinions are my own.
If you are a blogger and interested in spreading the word about Heart of Haiti, please contact me. This is a program that has a special place in my heart. I think it’s worthy of support.