The women of St. Basile's Episcopal Parish (sister parish to my own in Colorado) in Gonaives (northern Haiti) have expanded their work group to 10, having trained 3 more of the poorer women among them in the batik process. During my recent visit, they handed me another 50 scarves, and the quality of their work is improving! I was able to deliver fabric dyes, and the group will now begin making napkins as well as scarves. Pictured below are two of the women of the work group (seated), and a friend who models one of many ways to wear/use a scarf!
While in Port-au-Prince, I was able to meet with Nadege Beauvil (pictured with me below), President of the board of Femmes en Democratie (Women in Democracy), a Haitian agency that helps women start businesses and market their products. Nadege found the scarves "beautiful," and I left her with a couple to take to a gathering focused on supporting women and girls in rural Haiti, hosted by the new US Ambassador to Haiti, Pamela White. Nadege later emailed to say she would like to give one of the scarves to Haiti's First Lady, who comes from Gonaives, and "would understand the support that these ladies need."
Speaking of support, the women of the Batik Project offer their heartfelt thanks to the many women of the Order of the Daughters of the King (www.doknational.com) who purchased scarves for themselves or to sell to others, and to the generous donors who supported the initiation of the Project, including a grant/donations (ranging $500-$1500) from
- National Episcopal Church Women Social Justice Committee (Women to Women Grant)
- Anonymous donor in Pueblo, Colorado
- US Steering Committee members (listed in initial blog)
I will return to Haiti in early December to help advance the Batik Project. If you would like to help support this initiative with funds, ideas, or other assistance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!