Upcycling denim to uplift women and children though job creation, education, and orphan prevention
Many of you may have seen our latest blog post detailing mission opportunities with the Denim Project. After reading the post, you might be wondering how a guest house will help people in poverty. That is a valid question. I realize that all of the thought and planning that has gone into this next phase of the Denim Project happens behind the scenes, where you the reader/supporter cannot see the progression of details as they fall into place.
Last June, we were able to rent The Denim House for the next two years. The space is large and airy and offers a good work environment, but also has other rooms that can be used to house mission teams, travelers, families, and friends as they tour Haiti. So how does this fit with the mission of the Denim Project to keep families together through job creation, education, and orphan prevention.
Once we have outfitted the house with the donation items requested (items and materials which we plan to source locally in Haiti,) we hope to use the house in the following ways:
Guest House: The guest house will give us another venue for hiring local workers for cooking, cleaning, and washing. While also stimulating the local economy through the purchase of supplies (ie. water, food, phone minutes, gas, etc) from local vendors.
Roof Top Restaurant: This is a really exciting opportunity as we can provide jobs for locals through waitstaff, cooks, and dishwashers. We can teach cooking, etiquette, and English in a practical environment where the skills can be tested and honed on a daily basis. A second bonus for this business proposition is making North American cuisine available to those who enjoy Pizza and Hot Sandwiches.
Establishing a Library: While there are many schools in the area educating children in the main elements of math, language, and science, the funding often does not stretch to books for reading pleasure. Having books available both in English and French will give children the opportunity to continue their education through reading non-fiction books, improve their reading skills through fiction, and generally add another pasttime to their repertoire. I love to read and look forward to sharing this love with others.
Tutoring: Our central location in the village of Minoterie, creates an ideal space for tutoring children. In Haiti, children in grades 3, 6, 9, and 12 must pass a national exam before advancing to the next grade or graduating from high school. This is very difficult for many children whose parents have very little education and are not able to help with homework or preparing for the exam. By offering this service, more children will have a chance of completing not only the next grade in school, but eventually graduating from high school.
If you would like to donate today, click here.
Thank you so much for your time and support. Know that your donation will be used with the utmost prayer and consideration to be most beneficial to those in need.
If you have any questions, feel free to email
Lori at email@example.com
Have a great day.
Mission Opportunity: The Denim Project Haiti
The Denim Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to keeping families together through job creation, education and orphan prevention. Started in August 2013, over the last 3 years the Denim Project has provided jobs to 10 Haitian families, has helped 30 children remain with their families and built two permanent homes for families previously living in tents.
If you or your church is looking for a new opportunity to serve the people in poverty in Haiti, we would love to have you partner with The Denim Project. Here are a few ways in which you can help:
Donate to the Denim Project:
We are currently raising funds for The Denim House. In June of 2016, we moved the The Denim Project from Simonette, Haiti to Minterie, Haiti. The new house is much larger than our old location and will allow us to take teams down to Haiti to stay at the Denim House as soon as we have a few things in place like consistent electricity and water options. The list of items currently needed can be found at http://denimproject.org/collections/donations.
Take a Team to Haiti:
Is your church interested in taking a short term mission trip to Haiti? A short term trip to Haiti would be from a Sunday to Saturday and may include the following activities depending on the skills of your team:
a) work on the denim house--this can include cleaning, organizing, painting, as well as light construction
b) work with the denim project artisans: teach new skills, observe/oversee card making, cut/prep fabric
c) visit other organizations in Haiti: we are very close to several other mission groups in Haiti and would be able to visit these organizations to give you a feel for the what others are doing in Haiti
d) teach English to the children in the village through conversation and reading picture books
e) and a beach day: where we will travel to a local resort and spend time enjoying the beautiful Caribbean Ocean and a delicious meal.
For more information on taking a team to Haiti, contact Lori Poppinga @ 712-470-5008 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop the The Denim Project for gift giving:
By buying our products, you help keep families together. Our artisans work very hard to bring you a quality product that makes it possible for them to send their children to school and provide for their daily needs. Check out all of our great products @ http://denimproject.org/collections
I look forward to partnering with you in 2017.
Many people ask what we need at the Denim Project and what recyclable materials we can use? Both are great questions.
Praise the Lord, we currently have plenty of denim! Thank you to each one who has dug through their closets and have found tons and tons (literally) of denim to donate to the Denim Project. We have had to close donations of denim through the end of 2016 as we are currently overloaded with denim that is yet to be processed.
However, do not be discouraged if you are looking for an opportunity to donate to the Denim Project, we still have the following needs:
*Fun cotton fabric 1/2 yard or more
*Thread all colors: embroidery and sewing machine
*six sturdy wooden chairs for use in the Denim Room at Rosie's (these do NOT have to match)
*Money for the following furniture items for the Denim House 2.0: table, chairs, couch and love seat, bathroom items (towels, shower curtain, rod, and rings) and kitchen items (pots, pans, serving bowls, and storage containers.)
We will soon have a donate button for each item on our website, but for now feel free to click on a donate button already available and write in which item you would like the money to go towards.
Thank you so much for your support and generosity.
The Denim Project has secured a new house in Minoterie, Haiti where we will be working from for the next two years. The house has room for Charles and his family, the supplies and products for the artisans, and space for a guest house.
We are planning a trip down in September and would like to build furniture for the Denim House. If you have carpentry or sewing skills and have been looking for an opportunity to take a mission trip, we would love to have you join us on this adventure.
The items we are planning to build include: bunkbeds, daybed or couch, a long table, and porch furniture. We will also be sewing cushions for the couch/daybed and teaching The Denim Project artisans new sewing skills.
The cost of a one week trip to Haiti is $1500 which includes: airfare, lodging, food, transportation, a translator, and a life changing experience. For more information, please contact Lori Poppinga at 712-470-5008 or at her email: email@example.com
*Fundraising opportunities are available to help defray the cost of the trip.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
We had a fantastic trip to Haiti in June. I traveled with 3 recent graduates from Central Lyon High School in Rock Rapids, IA--Elasa, Jesse, and Christina. We had 12 days to paint the interior of the new Denim House, put together a treadle machine, organize and prep work for our artisans, as well as see a few sites in Haiti.
We had a rocky start with delayed flights in Dallas, but managed to get into Haiti on Friday as planned. While completely exhausted from our travels, we decided to stop at the hardware store near the airport in Port Au Prince to pick up a higher quality paint than could be had in our local village. I'm not sure choosing paint colors is something that should be done with a complete lack of sleep, but chose we did and so armed with paint and the appropriate supplies we headed to our Minoterie and then on to Tytoo Gardens.
On our first full day in Haiti, we painted...and painted... and then painted some more. I was completely floored by the how much the team, Charles, and Magdala were able to get painted in one day! We were all thrilled with the transformation.
Kesha, Charles and Magdala's dauighter, was willing to help wherever needed!
We were able to get three rooms and the hallway painted on Saturday which was far more than we had anticipated. The rooms are large, but the paint covered so well and so thoroughly that we did not have to spend a lot of extra time on a second coat.
On Sunday we worshipped at Tytoo Gardens.
and we rested. It was a wonderful time to refresh before our busy, busy week.
We completed the painting on Monday and moved on to all the of the other things that needed to be done.
Building shelves to hold all our supplies and finished product.
Working to inventory all of our product
Traveling by rowboat to the nearby Island for a little exploaration
Standing on the ruins on the island and pondering the meaning of life.
Working some more
Teaching our artisans how to make new products.
In the evenings, we snuggled the kiddos,
pushed kids on the swings,
Played some Basketball,
and went out to the dock to watch the sunset.
and then on the next day, worked some more.
Putting together a treadle machine.
and working some more.
We had a great week. The team worked so hard and accomplished so much.
Thank you to each one who gave towards the Denim House, the team's trip, and the many supplies we took down. Your generosity is so appreciated
God's Blessings on each of you,
So, I went to Haiti this past February after the Holy Spirit had been tugging on my heart toward missions for about two years. Although I was only there for four days, Jesus used each hour in Haiti to reveal more of himself to me despite my North American blind spots.
For those of you who have not been to Haiti or another third world country, the experience can almost seem like it occurred within a parallel universe leaving one with mixed emotions wondering how first and third world countries can coexist. Indeed, watching the news reports of physical devastation of all measures across the globe touches the bystander’s soul but even more so walking side by side with those whom the devastation has scarred.
From my finite perspective, the state of Haiti seems impossible on several levels. Of course, life is more than the material, but the scarcity of basic living necessities creates a depressing sight. Crowded living spaces compiled of random sheets of tin and plastic tarp laced with wire on top of a dirt floor surrounded by a fence formed by cacti are more common than not.
With no organized system of trash disposal, wrappers and styrofoam line the streets and are blown into the countryside but at least there are random, skinny goats that rummage through the garbage.
These overwhelming views naturally cause one to question why the six years of world aid following the terror-filled earthquake lack more visible improvements. However, with only less than 5% of the Haitian population employed, the change obviously will not happen overnight.
Amidst the grim conditions, the people of Haiti are very resourceful. People find ways to survive whether through selling items at the opportune moment by the roadside or through pure innovation to make the most of every little bit they have.
God could have placed me on this earth as a Haitian. I am no better than the Haitian girl walking down the dirt road with flip-flops four sizes too small with a 5 gallon bucket of water balanced on her head.
The trip to Haiti left me with more questions than answers. There is no easy humanitarian solution to improve this country. God calls us to be his hands and feet in this suffering world which is impossible without His supernatural power. Especially after this trip, Jesus showed me in a new light how small I am in this world and how He is the only source of hope for each person regardless of where they dwell on this planet.