Meet our Artisans and discover their lives…in their own words!
I am Yolande MATADOR. I was born in Musac, La Vallee de Jacmel Haiti. I have a child. I’m living with my mom and my siblings. My father was a farmer, my mother is a dress maker. There are seven children in my family, five girls and two boys. I am the fourth daughter in the family.
We have all been able to attend the national school in Musac. In spite of the little means she had, by her effort, my mom could send us to school. Unfortunately, In January 1998, my father died. It’s became very difficult for my mom to pay the tuition, we didn’t receive any support from anyone outside of our family, just from my mother’s income and dedication to her children’s education. Despite of our low financial means, we didn’t get discouraged. We kept faith in God, and we continued to live. My mother always worked to pay for our education, allowing all of us to continue going to school and completing the terminal grade. My youngest sister is still completing her secondary education and has one more year until she completes the terminal grade.
I finished high school in 2009 and I was fortunate to able to participate in a school in Jacmel where I learned English. Having learned English have been a real benefit to me in my current work situation. In 2014 I begun working with HAPI as craftswoman, then in 2016 I became the supervisor of the artisans in HAPI. Women in the community have the opportunity, to learn, make products that are marketed through the US-based part of the organization. I help organize, training sessions for the women and direct their work. I also keep track of their hours and make sure that they are paid regularly.
We have had many trainings, teaching us to how to make things like soap, scarves, aprons, etc… I lead the artisans. I explain to them what work is to be done each day and guide them in making products quality. They work very well with me, because I provide them with the work and help them do their work so that they can earn more money for their family. I explain things to them carefully with a gentle manner. They all like working with me because I teach them specific ways to make all the products look very professionally finished. It is my job to inform them about what going on with the products we ship to the USA. If some of the products are not acceptable, I must explain this and show the artisans how they must improve their work for the future. Sometimes I must give the women news that is not pleasant for them, for example, if they are unable to finish a product correctly that they have made before and they must repeat the work the next day. They listen to my guidance, because they trust that I am helping them, make a better life for themselves and their families, I really care that we all succeed together.
I’m Nicole Futrion. I live and I was born in Jacmel Valley at Belandre. I was born in a family with five children. I raise four children and adopted one. They are living in Port-Au-Prince. I am living with my husband. I am a sisal artisan and embroidery artisan. I create different products with sisal. I Learned that when I was young at school. I do that for my life. I did not finish with basic studies at the second level, but I was a smart Student. I have learned a lot of things, but I did not have anywhere to work. I sometime participate at ART exhibition with my products I earned some money to help my family but still not enough to suit them.
I love dancing but I don’t know how to dance. I often make people laugh.
I am working with HAPI since 2007. It takes me 2:30h walk to come to work, and 1: 30h on motorcycle. The money I receive from HAPI helped me contribute to my children education. HAPI help me improve my skill in business and I make more money.
I receive some training while working at HAPI. My experience with HAPI encourage me in living.
I am Vilanie Prevost I am Haitian. I was born and grow up in Basin, Musac La Valee de Jacmel Haiti. I was born in a family of three people. I’m the first born in my family and I was very tolerating. Because I was the only girl. I couldn’t get away with my study because I did not belong to a Family with money. Despite of what I had achieved in 7th grade of high school. Soon after I went to a professional school where I learned seams and scrubs at a sister’s religious school.
I have got married with Michelet Hector at the age of 19 then I have my first child. We raise five children together four boys and a girl and we worked very hard to help them in their schooling. We went to church together; my husband and I was very religious. In 2007 I became HAPI craftswoman. HAPI create jobs opportunity for woman in Musac, HAPI have a good vision. Since I started working at HAPI. I got the opportunity to reinforce the education of my children and take care of them. In my financial activity HAPI is an important piece. For my knowledge, HAPI help me to improve my skill, learn more than I knew before such sea glass jewelry, sequin and beading purses, denim hat.
In April 27, 2015, while my husband was going to a church activity, he got a terrible car’s accident. We went to hospital with him, despite of the fact he became paralyze and after 7 month he died. In November 26 ‘2015. Since that time I am living with my five children. I do all I can to help them, in the fever of HAPI where I was working since 2007, it help me a lot in their schooling.
Until now I am working in the organization. I have two of my children who finish high school, but they don’t go to college. My last child is a girl, she has mental trouble, she can’t learn, she doesn’t go to school.
Finally, my life is successful even if I got some troubles, I know God will save my life and my children’s’ life. I want HAPI move forward and help more people in the community.
I’m Marie Josee Marcelin, I was born in Musac, Jacmel Valley, Haiti. I am 45 years old I am a textile craftswoman. I went to a public school, where I attend nine grades then I stop. I went to a professional school in the Valley where I learned seems and embroidery skill. when I was young, I used to make dresses for dolls, it is that which develop my ability as sewer. More I practice, more I become better. I have two children and I am not married yet. My father died long time ago, I’m living with my mom and my children also. I’m working with HAPI since 2007, It’s been 12 years ago.
Before I begun working at HAPI I was jobless. At that time, I had one child and I did not know what to do to take care of my child. Since I started working at HAPI, my life start changing. With the income I pay school for my two children, take care of myself, help my mother and some of my siblings and everything else.
Working with HAPI is a good experience for me, I learned so many things from them, like making soap, sea glass jewelry. Sequins and beading and improve my skills as seem maker. HAPI’s vison is << developing a thriving community in Musac >>That dream changes my mentality to focus on creativity and have a community spirit. Compared to the way I lived previously HAPI gives me a hope of living.
I am Antilia Antoine. I was born in Lavanneau, Musac La vallee de Jacmel, Haiti. I am a twin. I did not finish with basic studies at the second level. Afterward I went to learn the sewing machine. However, I practice embroidery more and become better. More, I was a saleswoman, I sold food product in the market place
I am married, and I raise two children, a boy and a girl. They are all living with me.
One day I get a possibility to get a job in HAPI. Since that time, I got more advantage to take care of my children and my household. I am working there since 2007. it takes me 45 minutes to come to work. I make a lot of progress working there because learned how to make new products as: sisal basket, jewelry and soap.
My name is Romuald Damis. I am going to give you a short history of my life experience until today where I am working at HAPI. I was born in Musac, La Vallee Jacmel, Haiti. I am a dressmaker, a well-nigh repairer of a sewing machine and a carpenter, all learned by routine. I did my basic studies at the religious brothers and my high school until the first part of high school. So, my favorite subject was mathematics. MY mum is seamstress and I have an uncle who dressmaker, At the age of 14 I saw my first piece of pants using my technique of success, after I consult some designer to teach me the real technique. In practice and perseverance, I can make clothes for men and women. At the age of 20 I went to Port-au-Prince where I lived for 6 years and I had a lot of clients in sewing. At that time, I found an old sewing machine rejected and oxidized, I took it and repair it. Some day later I found a broken sewing machine foot that will be thrown away, I bought a small amount of money to repair it and then I use my trade as a carpenter and technician to have a machine sew completely. After 6 years living in Port-au-Prince, I went back to the La Vallee deJacmel , Musac. Since then I went into the trade of sewing machine repair to resell them by continuing to perfect in sewing until having a sewing workshop where I started to teach sewing too.
I also embarked on classical teaching at the basic level. I taught mathematics in the first 3 levels of high school. At the age of 16 I joined a carpenter to teach me carpentry all holidays. I worked in a Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Delmas as a receptionist, soon as an accountant. However, it is the mathematical domain that influences accounting knowledge in me, but I have not learned it. All these experiences allowed me to build 3 rooms of house.
I am a Catholic Christian. I received Bible training in the neo-catechumenal community for 2 years. These experiences reinforce my attitude to succeed in reaching my goal, all while I learn the builder to be able to continue building my own home.
Nowadays I work at HAPI, Haitian Artisan for Peace International, an organization that aims to improve the living condition of education and health in the community. Since 2007 to the present day I work at HAPI as a leader and craftsman. The work experience at HAPI gives me the opportunity to continue to survive and meet my daily needs. So, I’m married and have two children, both of whom are already in preschool. Working at HAPI also allows me to have a stable job and continue completing my home. Through this organization I am fortunate to have some useful knowledge in any field, such as: Electricity, sequin and beading, Excel, Word in Computer Science, Business and Improvement in the English language. So, my dream is always to have a well-structured sewing workshop and to see in Musac an institution or an organization where people from the community can find a job.
It is by working for the benefit of others that we can have our reward. So, we have HAPI, an organization that works to help fill this void.