As I grapple with the turmoil happening in Haiti, and what to tell you about it, I feel the best approach is to share what one of Noonday Collection’s artisan business partners there had to say.
On Instagram, @haitidesignco shared,
As many of you may or may not know, Haiti is in a state of turmoil and extreme political unrest. We try very, very hard to use our voice as one of positivity and to always reflect the good and beauty of our precious #ayiticheri. The world doesn’t need another voice reflecting Haiti in a light of poverty and focusing on the problems. Out of pride, love, and respect for this beautiful nation, we are very mindful of what we share. Haiti, like many places, is full of complications. And sometimes these issues feel like internal issues that need internal solutions- not solutions imposed by other nations and outside voices. Things have reached a point where it would be negligent to not address what is happening in Haiti right now. It seems major media outlets are not covering the situation, but Haiti is in a state of economic crisis. On top of that people are demanding accountability of the government through the movement #kotkobpetrokaribe. We are on day 8 of country wide protesting and essentially a shut down of all businesses and day to day activity. This means people are bunkered down in their homes. They are not able to buy and sell food, water, or go about their normal business that helps them get by day to day. They are not able to get diesel, propane, water. They are taking shelter for safety and getting out when they can to try and get what they need for their families. There are many factors playing into this, that we won’t dive into here, but the population is suffering. Please stand with Haiti. Please send your prayers, but also keep supporting Haitian businesses and Haitian job creation. Keep spreading the good that this beautiful country has to offer. #kenbefèmpalage #haiti
How you can help during the crisis in Haiti
I often use the phrase, “Put Your Wallet to Work.” More of our wallet is in play than we may realize. For a long time I focused only on my donation money as my “justice money,” and believed the myth that non-profits were the only path to creating a better world. I have since learned that this approach is best done in parallel with another approach: engaging the business world too, through how we spend. Businesses that create jobs in vulnerable communities not only offer more sustainable empowerment than traditional charity (which is still needed!); they also offer you and I a way to engage our spending to create change.
And so, fittingly, I have two ways you can create change in Haiti right now:
#1: Donate to Haiti Design Co’s social programs
Obviously, we can donate money - but it can be hard to know where. There are unfortunately many organizations that go to Haiti (and anywhere, really) and want to “help,” but don’t listen to community leaders on the ground to understand what helps is needed. A leader from Haiti Design Co once shared a story about an American organization who, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, sent loads and loads of bread to Haiti to feed the hungry - not realizing that local Haitian bakeries were operating and in desperate need of their business. Purchasing bread to donate from bakers there would have been far better than sending bread that actually serves to damage their businesses.
That’s why I was excited to learn that we can all donate to the education and wellness programs HDC runs. To learn about these programs and to donate, click here.
#2: Support Haitian jobs with heartfelt businesses (bonus: 20% donation!)
HDC is just one of Noonday’s partners in Haiti. With our fair trade model, the artisans have already been paid up-front for their work - meaning that when you order their goods, you are helping us send reorders their way even sooner. Our partners are safe and still operating, and I would love to delight them with reorders that will not just sustain, but grow, their impact! You can see from the photos here that their work is stunning - and you or your loved ones can remember hope, tenacity, and connection every time you wear them.
From now through 3/31/19, I’m donating 20% of all my sales of Noonday pieces from Haiti, to HDC’s programs. This means you get beautiful handmade goods, artisan work can continue to thrive in the face of a national crisis, and HDC can have additional support.
So if you feel so led, please donate, shop, or both - all the while supporting Haiti-centered efforts to support the incredible people who call this beautiful country home.