development

Many Hands in Action

It is with much excitement that we get to introduce you to Haiti Design Co-op's own, in-house, community development committee,

also known as- HDC IN ACTION

If you have spent any time around the Haiti Design Co-op family you have probably heard us use the creole phrase, ‘men anpil, chay pa lou.’ In english it means many hands make the load light, and it is our number one mantra in day to day operations. HDC IN ACTION is the embodiment of that phrase through and through.

HDC IN ACTION consists of different leaders from around the workshop, some are managers, and some are part of our workshop family that want to do their part in lifting up the people around them. The committee began organically as a way to plan events and parties, and has grown into a platform for social change in our community. We truly value the input of our staff, and they have become the driving instigator for a lot of our social initiatives. When deciding on a logo for the committee, the group chose a banana leaf in hands. They said this represents the spirit of Haiti Design Co-op, their culture, and country being in their hands. Currently they are working towards helping plan a community garden and green project for HDC known as The Banana Leaf Initiative (more exciting info to come!), as well as planning personal growth seminars such as mental health awareness and personal financial training.  The committee is working on planning community clean up days, and cultural education days where they can explore and learn more about different parts of the gorgeous island nation. 

HDC IN ACTION VISION STATEMENT

HDC IN ACTION exists to work together to support the community in all we do. We strive to create initiatives to improve well-being, protect the environment and the culture, and encourage personal growth. We work to teach individuals that change starts from within, and to give them the resources and opportunities to take that change to their communities. We are role models for our co-workers, families, community, and country. We strive to encourage individuals to find their purpose and join the movement to uplift and sustain our lives and our country. 

MEET THE TEAM

Adelson - "I used to participate in my social committee to be an example at church. I am on the committee because it is a good thing and helping to fulfill the big dream."

Adelson - "I used to participate in my social committee to be an example at church. I am on the committee because it is a good thing and helping to fulfill the big dream."

Darline - "I am happy because I like working on a team and to learn new things from the committee."

Darline - "I am happy because I like working on a team and to learn new things from the committee."

Gerald - "Even though I am shy, the committee helps me to put myself out there when they have events."

Gerald - "Even though I am shy, the committee helps me to put myself out there when they have events."

Mano - "I like being on the committee because we all work together. I am more serious, and would not be here if it wasn't a good thing. And the committee helps me to relax and be included."

Mano - "I like being on the committee because we all work together. I am more serious, and would not be here if it wasn't a good thing. And the committee helps me to relax and be included."

Cassan - "It feels good to be on the committee and each time we have a meeting together, it makes me feel happy to be a part of it." *Our self proclaimed gather-er / rally-er of people and making sure that everyone is included*

Cassan - "It feels good to be on the committee and each time we have a meeting together, it makes me feel happy to be a part of it." *Our self proclaimed gather-er / rally-er of people and making sure that everyone is included*

Guerdy - (President) - "I like to be working. I spend a lot of time here for work and helping with the committee. I am encouraged to be here even when it is a lot of work because it is a good thing for everyone. I want the committee to be long lasting and building for the future to follow in our example."

Guerdy - (President) - "I like to be working. I spend a lot of time here for work and helping with the committee. I am encouraged to be here even when it is a lot of work because it is a good thing for everyone. I want the committee to be long lasting and building for the future to follow in our example."

Widlene - "I am known as 'pa ka pa la" (paraphrased, the social butterfly and involved in everything). I like social activities, and specifically the cooking side. The jewelry ladies chose me to be on the committee and I am happy because I want to be a good representation for them."

Widlene - "I am known as 'pa ka pa la" (paraphrased, the social butterfly and involved in everything). I like social activities, and specifically the cooking side. The jewelry ladies chose me to be on the committee and I am happy because I want to be a good representation for them."

Jerry - "HDC in action has changed a lot of things in me. I like it because the projects are big. HDC in action will go far, it will impact our community. It changed me because I participate in the programs. We do this because we love it, and it is something that helps us all. Little by little we have more ideas that bring us together." 

Jerry - "HDC in action has changed a lot of things in me. I like it because the projects are big. HDC in action will go far, it will impact our community. It changed me because I participate in the programs. We do this because we love it, and it is something that helps us all. Little by little we have more ideas that bring us together." 

Faby - "I enjoy being on the committee because it gives me the chance to get to know my coworkers better."

Faby - "I enjoy being on the committee because it gives me the chance to get to know my coworkers better."

Fabienne - "I like being on the committee because I am planning things that are outside of my everyday job. It is something that is for the country, and our community and I am participating in things that are helping my people in a social way, in a different way. The investment I make in my people is not something that I can be paid for and that is why i take pride in it. I am proud to do it, it makes me more invested in Haiti Design Co-op because it is different than what businesses usually do." 

Fabienne - "I like being on the committee because I am planning things that are outside of my everyday job. It is something that is for the country, and our community and I am participating in things that are helping my people in a social way, in a different way. The investment I make in my people is not something that I can be paid for and that is why i take pride in it. I am proud to do it, it makes me more invested in Haiti Design Co-op because it is different than what businesses usually do." 

We are very proud of the HDC IN ACTION team, and are so thankful for the way they are able to impact the community around them. We can not wait to see where they go, and what they do in the coming years. Follow along, more updated to come! 

Orevwa!

-the HDC team

Salut Friends!

My role here at Haiti Design Co-op has been evolving since I stepped on board as a volunteer one year ago. My love for this place goes deep, and my heart for Haiti goes deeper. My life in Haiti began in June 2014 through working with an orphanage as house mom and running a baby feeding program. Life progressed here in Haiti and I decided to transition into focusing on keeping families together and sustained through job creation, which landed me at Haiti Design Co-op. Here at HDC, I am head of order fulfillment, shipping, and program coordinator. I work alongside our Community Development committee to put in place programs to create opportunities for our workers in education, business development, and life skills.    I am excited to share with you stories from our little family and bustling workshop in Port au Prince, Haiti, as well bits and pieces from the rich culture that makes up this country.

 

My name is Katelyn Hollis, I’ll be the chief contributing writer to the Haiti Design Co-op journal.

 

My role here at Haiti Design Co-op has been evolving since I stepped on board as a volunteer one year ago. My love for this place goes deep, and my heart for Haiti goes deeper. My life in Haiti began in June 2014 through working with an orphanage as house mom and running a baby feeding program. Life progressed here in Haiti and I decided to transition into focusing on keeping families together and sustained through job creation, which landed me at Haiti Design Co-op. Here at HDC, I am head of order fulfillment, shipping, and program coordinator. I work alongside our Community Development committee to put in place programs to create opportunities for our workers in education, business development, and life skills.

I am excited to share with you stories from our little family and bustling workshop in Port au Prince, Haiti, as well bits and pieces from the rich culture that make up this country.


A little speed round q&A from yours truly-

                       

                 

1. What's your favorite part of your daily routine at HDC? 

Making the first round of morning greetings to our teams throughout the workshop rooms. You never know what tidbits of information will unfold since the previous workday. It could quite possibly set the tone for the entire day here on the grounds.  

"Ready or not, here we go!"

 

 

 

 

2. What's your favorite HDC product from the collection?

Classic leather tote in tan. It's timeless. It's leather. Enough said.

3. If advising a person traveling to Haiti for the first time, what are the things they must see and places they must go?

Jacmel. A town on the southern coast, perfectly preserved from an era of bold colors, bustling cobblestone, Caribbean salsa dance, and hand squeezed rhum sours. Oh, and breathtaking beaches.

4. Favorite street food?

Avocados and coconuts! If I’m feeling adventurous, banan pese topped with pikliz (fried plantains with a Haitian style cole slaw / spicy kimchi, the more burn the better!)

 

5. Favorite hobby since moving to Haiti?

Yoga, on our workshop jungalow patio. I love the classic practice in a hot yoga setting, sweating and stretching while surrounded by plants. Serenity.

6. Favorite creole word or phrase and why?

“Toutouni” - naked. Packed with so many uses. To be raw, bare, minimum…. One’s natural state. Pronounced just how it looks, try it you won’t be able to say it just once.   

 

7. What is the weirdest thing for you about going back to America when you visit home?

Watching how fast people move in public places. It gets weird, like they actually have to get things done in a timely fashion. Who woulda thought?! A huge contrast to the streets in Port au Prince.

 

8. What is the hardest part of coming back to Haiti after visiting America?

Usually I'm coming from colder northern parts of the US, so definitely adjusting back to the hot weather. But then it soaks into my core and makes me smile from the inside out, and sweat.


Haiti is a place that appeals to every sense at one time, in each moment. This only takes a split second to see. Let’s step out and explore paths, visions, art forms, and everyday products that make up this heartbreaking and breathtaking little island.

 

With love from Ayiti,

Katelyn Hollis

                            Jacmel, Haiti

                            Jacmel, Haiti