I love discovering new places in the world. This Spring I had the chance to experience a beautiful new culture. Haiti is a lush island with beautiful mountains, clear ocean and beautiful people.
I've shared about this trip in a previous post that you can read, here, Here's the gist: my cousin Amy asked if I would come and help with the gardens at their land, a place they've started to support mothers of malnourished children. Amy and Jenn are two incredible young women who are empowering Mothers in Haiti through their organization - Second Mile Ministries. They focus on helping mothers who are at a dangerous point of not being able to care for their children. Because of poverty and illness, many women end up making the painful decision of giving their babies up to orphanages - in order to save their babies lives. In fact, most of Haiti's orphans are not actually orphans at all. They are babies who have mothers - mothers who want their children - but are completely desperate and have no options when their babies get sick or become malnourished. As a mother myself, the thought of being at that point (having to decide whether to stay with my child and watch them die, or give them to someone else) is unfathomable.
The reality is, these are the decisions that many of the mothers in the world face.
Amy and Jenn watched this happen first hand (as they'd worked in the orphanage setting previously) and became impassioned to do something about it. They had a dream of creating a place to help empower these mothers.
With God's help and a LOT of hard work, they've created this place!
At Second Mile Haiti, women are being given the chance to learn how to care & provide for their children. They are being offered hope. Not only are these babies getting the nourishing food and medical care that they need, the mothers are being taught how to keep their children healthy. Amy & Jenn have hired other Haitians to teach them business skills, so that after the women go home - they will have the means to provide for their families in a new way. At Second Mile they are very committed to hiring local Haitians to run the organization. I was so amazed and inspired to see the way this is having an effect on the community. Not only are these Moms being touched - the workers hired to care for the land, the gardens, the clinic - are all being employed and are being empowered with new job skills and a livelihood.
It was an incredible gift to be able to partner with them on the garden project - such a time of inspiration and fulfillment of personal dreams for me.
I am eager to bring the whole family back to help some more!
My husband has skills which would be incredibly useful over there, and I'm excited for my girls to experience this culture also. We hope to go for 3 weeks and get a lot done for them. In a recent email to my cousin, asking if she still thinks we could be helpful, her reply was: " WE NEED YOU!!!" Some of the potential items she listed that they could use further help with was:
- further work on the gardens
- teaching a composting model for the mothers to use at home
- new experiments in composting at the land
- new rabbit hutches
- build a bread oven
- building shade areas
- building seating/tables/workspaces
- teaching sewing to the moms
I think they have enough projects to keep us quite busy for a few weeks! We've got a savings account started, and in an attempt to continue to raise funds towards this goal...
I've decided to start some kids sewing classes in my home again.
I've taught sewing to young creatives in the past and I'm excited to do it again - this time to raise money to support a wonderful cause.
Do you know any young creative kids who would love to learn to sew, or be taught creative gift ideas that they can make this year?
Here are the details on the sewing class:
NEW KIDS CRAFTING/SEWING WORKSHOPS
I will be holding classes at my home this fall for kids ages 10+ geared toward creating unique Christmas gifts. We will be doing basic projects (working toward intermediate level) that will incorporate:
- machine sewing skills
- applique to personalize hand made items
- using fabric to cover items & create gifts
- simple silk screening
- re-purposing used clothing into new gift items
Each student will need to bring their own sewing machine and thread/notions, but all other materials will be provided.
Cost: $20 per class
DAYTIME class: Fridays 10 - 11:30am Beginning Friday, Sept. 6th - for 8 weeks
WEEKEND class: Saturdays 9 - 10:30am Beginning Sat. Sept 14th - for 8 weeks
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if your child is interested in joining and I will let you know how much space is available.
Please spread the word here, locally (Loveland, CO area) if you would - and if any of you (non-locals) would like to contribute (getting the Sailers to Haiti) - you are welcome to donate via paypal by clicking the button here: