Friends, it’s time to launch our next project!
We are thrilled to introduce you to Threads of Kindness, a non-profit operating in Croix-des-Bouquet, Haiti. Their mission is to provide education, training, and sustainable employment to improve the self-sufficiency and economic independence of Haitian women and their families.
Founder, Sally Little, hails from Norman, OK where she gained a passion for helping women as a single mother who supported her family by teaching high school home economics. After visiting Haiti with her church, she learned about how, like many children in the developing world, Haitian children are not guaranteed an education. Because space is limited and school is expensive for the families, many children do not go or delay going to school when they cannot afford the school fees.
Haiti’s complicated history is wrought with conflict and natural disasters, making it one of the poorest nations in the world and by far the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. There are 760 orphanages in Haiti made up of true orphans and children whose parents are unable to care for them. Only about 29% of Haitian children are able to finish eighth grade, and 2/3 of Haiti’s labor force is without work.
Armed with this information, Sally was inspired to use her expertise in clothing production and teaching to empower women with a trade they could use for sustainable employment to earn a living wage and support their families. Partnering with the Global Orphan Project, Sally established a sewing production facility to teach women to make school uniforms for children in orphanages, so they could qualify to receive an education.
Threads of Kindness d/b/a Kind Threads was born in 2013 and provides vocational education in the textile and garment industry to orphans aged 18-24 who have aged out of the orphanages. In addition to providing skills-based training, Kind Threads makes school uniforms for donation to orphan villages.
Because of their relationship with the Global Orphan Project, Kind Threads does not have to use funds for a facility, electricity, or fabric. This frees them to spend their funding on training, machines, supplies, repairs, and trainee uniforms. To date, Kind Threads has graduated 37 students from their vocational program, and they have 21 current students who will graduate in August 2017. So far, they have provided 4,800 uniforms to 13 orphan villages throughout Haiti.
Each one of those uniforms means another student is able to attend school.
Because the textile industry in Haiti represents 90% of the country’s exports, 100% of the graduates are gainfully employed and earning a living wage.
Here’s where Somebody’s Mama comes in!
Kind Threads is looking to expand their production operation because the demand for school uniforms has increased from 1,800 to 4,000 over the past three years, and they have reached maximum capacity for production with the number of students they can train on their current equipment. In order to meet the demand, they need to purchase some new equipment. This new equipment will allow Kind Threads to train an additional eight students per year, as well as increase the production of school uniforms provided to orphan villages.
For the next training class, Kind Threads wants to increase their production from 3,000 to 4,000 uniforms, and we want to help them get there! Our goal is to grant Kind Threads $9,100 to cover the costs of their increased production. Our funding will not only provide jobs for women but also will send kids to school. We have learned over and over again that economic empowerment and education are inextricably intertwined.
So what will your donation provide?
$17=one worker uniform.
$20=one school uniform.
$100=a month of machine maintenance.
$150=a month’s worth of notions (thread, buttons, scissors, etc.).
$999=a button installation machine.
$1,475=a serger sewing machine.
$1,999=a buttonhole machine.
Somebody’s Mama is committed to empowering women and empowering communities. Kind Threads is exactly the kind of organization we are looking for when we search for worthwhile projects. We are so excited to see Mamas and children in Haiti thrive through jobs and education!