Hundreds of thousands of imported goods are crammed in to the Haitian market every single day.. They dock at the warf right across from what appears to be one of the busiest public markets of the country- Croixbossale. Fruits and vegetables spill on to the streets as you glance into the market. On the left end stands a slaughter house – where goats and cows are slaughtered right on the spot for an audience.The pungent odor seeps into everything around you. It seems the rotten fruit, fresh fruit and fecal matter of freshly butchered animals have an aroma best described as repulsive. To the far right sit truckload of used clothing literally mounds upon mounds- piled on top of each other appearing to have spilled un to the ground without a care
But the story does not end there. It continues, the work continues. While Haiti’s is in-undated with imported good which span from China to Alaska productivity lies within these walls. Haitian Entrepreneurs manufacturing local goods while scarce in comparison to the developing market are definitely on the rise.
Just down the street from a busy shore of imports sits an encouraging atelier. An atelier created by five recent graduate of HPCD incubator program. A program which works with women/ men for 12-24 months , which equips them with business skills , provides a space of production for their small businesses, and funding to recapitalize their businesses.
Right before you make it Martissant at Fontamara 41. The small shop is entitled “Atleye fanm an development pou lavni” Which translates a women’s atelier in development for the future. On the third floor of a complex is a quaint space with five spacious rooms where a conglomerate is beginning to taking shape. These women are not only using material available within the local market they are recycling and creating innovative products and craft. Louisna, a leader within the team – which creates jewelry from recycled material, Micheline Deciuse,a constant force, creates table mats and bags and knick knacks from recycled cheeco wrappers and agro ailimentaire such as such as peanut butter and cremas, Rosa Mica- who produces macramé and leather sandal ,and Judithe who produces all sorts of crocheted garments. What sets these women apart their tenacity to keep striving,to continue to impact their community by showcasing their talent.
“ this is only the beginning, we have great plans- we want not only to showcase are carefully crafted good, but to teach other within our community, grow this vision not only for the development of this shop but for the future of this nation” Louisna explained.
To import or to create- while at times the two walk hand in hand- I prefer the latter.
When working within communities, often trends emerge among people groups. .As people ,we all march to a rhythm. Within HPCD we work within communities- vulnerable communities within the metropoilitain area. Every year for the past four year we have initiated a new class of youth aged 17-25 within our youth placement and rehabilitation program. And through out the duration of this program we continually observe youth which deviate from the norm. This month we decided to share and congratulate a young lady which has surpassed all our expectations.
She has entered a trade popularly frequented by men and served as an example that anything is possible. Fabiola Blanc is 22 years old she entered the program and chose the field of construction. Everyone told her, she was but a girl- she will never be successful in this trade. But she believed anything was possible. And today we stand in applause- congratulating her faith , her courage and her work. Help us congratulate Miss Blanc for her excceptional work ethic in 2012-2013 Youth Placement promotion of HPCD.
Where one sees dispair, catastrophe, violence the another will see possibility, creativity and passion. Cite Soleil- city of the sun- globally viewed as one of the most vulnerable slums in the world, also houses some of the most innovative persons one may ever know. Bouteille ( literally meaning bottles) - is also an area constructed by a few residents of the Cite Soleil area- to simply create. This once deserted space has now transformed into a workshop where a small group of partisans create beautiiful glasses from scratch.
These dynamic entreprenuers literally go into their surrounding communities and rid those areas from filthy bottles- from snapple to beer you will find it all.
Once they return to Bouteille- the rigorously clean the the glass bottles, wax them, shape them , paint them, until they are transformed into delicate glass cups- meeting everyone’s approval. These entreprenuers work arduously day in and day out – to not only assist in keep their neighborhood and the surrounding areas cleans but to earn a sustainable income for them and their children.