Things to inspire

Support Recovery, Choose Haitian Made

As many of you know, the damage from Hurricane Matthew has been devastating for many communities in the southern region of Haiti. Relief efforts are underway and many wonderful organizations are working hard to prevent the spread of cholera, alleviate hunger, and provide clean water and shelter during this time. The road to recovery is going to be a long one. At this time we feel it is vital to remember to give with discretion and think of the long term impact we will have on communities. The Haitian economy is going to be one of the biggest keys to supporting recovery. When you invest in job creation, you're investing in opportunity for people and families to provide for themselves. Job creation provides stability. Stability for families means savings, education, health care, and the opportunity to be prepared for the future. 

This holiday season millions of dollars will be spent on gifts for family and friends. We urge you to use your purchasing power to support the Haitian economy by buying Haitian made products. This will directly impact businesses and families in Haiti.

Plus, Haiti produces some of the most beautiful and unique artisan made products in the world.

Here are a few of our favorite 100% Haitian made brands...

  1. FAIT LA FORCE

1. FAIT LA FORCE

     2. 2nd STORY GOODS

 

2. 2nd STORY GOODS

  3. HAITI'S JEWELS

3. HAITI'S JEWELS

  5. PASCALE THEARD CREATIONS

5. PASCALE THEARD CREATIONS

  4. DEUX MAINS

4. DEUX MAINS

  6. PAPILLON ENTERPRISE

6. PAPILLON ENTERPRISE

We also love....

Atelier Calla    .    Sa Voix    .   PeaceCYLCE    .     Artisan Business Network    .    Ayiti Natives

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to Haiti!

Much love,

-the HDC team

 

An Earth Day Call to Action

 

Audrey Hepburn once said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.

 As a family and community here in Port Au Prince, we can press on these simple words. Words that project vision and dreams. Looking upon a simple seed and it’s potential, days and years from now. There is no limit as to where tomorrow can take us.

Giving our lives nourishment is a renewing practice. Caring for our bodies, our souls and our world can coincide beautifully in simple practices like gardening. There is something healing that comes in digging in the dirt, something deeply satisfying that comes in growing your own food, and there is something wonderful for our earth that comes when we find such natural ways to meet our needs. If we can reflect practices that embody this growth, we can spread education and investment throughout our family and into the communities of our artisans.

Photo: Harvest 107

Through generosities of partners, we have been given the opportunity to dig deeper with enrichment programs here at the workshop. We were joined by a corporate responsibility team last fall that came down and not only donated materials, time, and energy, but laid the ground work for the structure of our lunch sustainability vision being brought to life through a rooftop garden. As we set out to continue to find ways to implement simple and sustainable nourishment to our workshop, Haiti Design Co-op’s path struck a gold mine when we found Harvest 107.

Harvest 107, from nursery to garden, embodies a vision of growth through something simple- food. Taking a breath on their garden property opens a feeling of opportunity and renewal beyond what is seen in the dirt.  Renewal that brings forth possibility and growth that we hope to model here at HDC. Through this spirit, our garden will empower our family as they seek to develop practices that take them to their roots. The fruits of their labor are reflected in their mission statement,

to make safe, nutritious food available to every person on the planet.” and belief that “food is a right, not a privilege” .

  Photo: Harvest 107

Photo: Harvest 107

(To learn more about Harvest 107 please explore their website)

Harvest 107 partners with organizations and community groups to build gardens that connect people to the importance of renewal and nourishment, as well as give every person the opportunity for sufficient food sources.

By building a sustainable rooftop garden alongside Harvest 107 we will be given the ability to-

  • Provide added nutrition to our employee lunches

  • Train leaders in sustainable gardening practices that can spread in surrounding communities

  • Provide educational classes on preventive healthcare through nutrition

  • Give our artisans the chance to become  a part of a project that they can watch grow (literally) and expand on individually, as a family, and into communities where their daily lives take place.  

By combining the visions of HDC and Harvest 107, the following plan was developed:

The Harvest Box : Our custom engineered garden boxes include a self-watering irrigation system that requires no electricity. Each Harvest Box is made from re-purposed shipping pallets and designed to use the least amount of materials while achieving the optimal environment for urban gardening. The boxes are not only functional, they are aesthetically pleasing and instantly transform raw spaces into a thing of beauty.”

Our goal is to launch the rooftop garden with-

  • 6 harvest boxes=70 plants

  • Training Sessions in-

    • care and maintenance

    •  organic pest control

    • composting

    • harvesting food

    • seed banking for planting the next crop.

 

 The roots of our rooftop garden, tended by our leather artisan, Adelson. 

The roots of our rooftop garden, tended by our leather artisan, Adelson. 

 
 
 
 

“The key elements to a successful food sustainability project is great design and thorough education and training.”

- Pfaff Family, Harvest 107

 

 

 


Here's Where You Come In...

TO BRING THIS GARDEN TO LIFE WE ARE LOOKING FOR SPONSORS TO RALLY BEHIND US AND FUND THESE NUTRITIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL HARVEST BOXES.


Sponsor a plant- $25

For just $25, individuals can sponsor one of the 70 new and promising plants coming straight from the Harvest 107 greenhouse to our well-loved workshop roof. AND receive a free Leather Bracelet made in-house at HDC. 

Sponsor half a Harvest box- $75

For $75, individuals can sponsor half of a Harvest Box. Each plant will contribute directly to supplementing our artisans’ lunches and provide a training opportunity for our employees. AND you'll receive a free "BE GOOD TO PEOPLE" banner.

Sponsor a Harvest Box- $150

 For just $150, you can get your name, family’s name, organization, or business name on a hand stamped metal placard on the side of the box which you sponsored. You'll also receive a personal thank you video from our staff members. 

We are beyond excited about this new opportunity for our cooperative and, especially, those that will be our first round of gardeners. Haiti Design Co-op is committed to not only providing stability to individuals through employment, but also to life enrichment and community development made possible by your donations. Thank you for your support of this exciting new venture made possible by Harvest 107.

Alongside you, we are planting seeds of change and opportunity.

With love from Ayiti,

-the HDC team

 

 

Espere Counseling Partnership

The wellness of our artisan community at Haiti Design Co-op is of upmost importance to us. We have seen time and time again the evils of poverty to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually crippling. It is common for our artisans to address their physical health issues, however we sadly have seen that mental health is rarely addressed within Haiti. Many of our artisans have experienced devastating trauma, however sadly the stigma of mental health being only associated with "crazy people" and the lack of information and resources available to them has left a void of healing in such a vital area of life. 

It was with great pleasure that we were able to meet and partner with Espere Community Counseling Center of Port au Prince, Haiti. 

Espere - French translation, "to hope." 

"No matter what has happened, our clients can still hope for brighter times ahead. It is an action. It requires work. Each client must actively participate in the healing process in order to find the peace and strength they desire, and we are continually honored to be able to watch our clients work for and reach these goals." - Erika Childs, Founder Espere CCC

Erika Childs came to Haiti in 2013. Through her work as a volunteer psychology professor, she experienced the desperate need for mental health services and the severe lack of options. She was able to work with psychology students dedicated to helping their country, however disheartened by the reality that they had nowhere to put the theories they were learning into practice. Feeling a pull to fill in the gaps, Erika joined a colleague and the idea of a community-based counseling center began to take root. A place to not just provide counseling, but also teach about mental health and the stigmas associated with mental health. Espere CCC was born.

A Lack of information and large influence of the spiritual world and superstitions have planted a negative image of mental health, not just in Haiti, but in many countries worldwide.  This has left many people with minds and bodies paralyzed in fear and distrust. Distrust of others, and distrust of the natural world. 

Seeking to inform and better support our artisans in this important area of life, we welcomed Espere for a group session with our HDC family.

 

Espere's kind and patient professional staff was able to educate our group on the importance of mental health and what it means to us as individuals. Using drawings, group chats, and an open question forum, we engaged in identifying common problems and stresses we all face, how this affects us as a family unit, and as a business. We learned about the realities of anxiety, depression, trauma, and PTSD, and we learned techniques for properly coping with the stresses of everyday life.

The response from our artisans was incredible. There was a positive and engaging energy throughout the room. Everyone shared, participated, and left with new ideas and perspective on their own well-being. 

Communities are built from the inside out. Through opening the door to exploration inward, our cohort has let practices sprout and are exploding with ideas and practices that channel inner strength. When minds are opened, freedom transpires and carries the power to uplift and influence others. HDC will continue to build it's foundation as our collective teams seek strength and hope.

Mesi Espere, your seeds have been sown, and we can't wait to watch them grow.  

If you're interested in learning more or supporting the work of Espere Community Counseling, visit their website and donate at- http://www.esperecounseling.com/