Today is the day! After much preparation, our Mission Made team will arrive in Haiti to serve with Haiti Awake. We are so excited for the opportunity to help serve the people of this country and for the chance to meet with Pappilion, one of our artisan groups. We wanted to share with you all, a little more in depth, about what makes these organizations so special and why we are so excited to be working with them.
"Statistics are one thing, but friends are another". After the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2008, Becky Graves began to wonder why we were hearing so much on the news here in the United States about a tragedy in a country where she did not personally know anyone, and nobody she spoke to knew anyone. The large number of people who were hurt or killed just seemed like statistics, but once Haiti Awake was founded and teams started to visit Haiti, it was clear there was something special about this country and its people.
As a fairly new organization, Haiti Awake has already been successful in recruiting teams to travel to volunteer. A main priority of the Haiti Awake team is to educate themselves on the culture of Haiti, while building lasting relationships with the people there. Largely, Haiti Awake strives to bring the people of Haiti closer to Christ through leading Bible studies and Bible schools for the community, both in large groups (usually held in schools and orphanages to accommodate everyone) and smaller groups (usually held in a home). They have built an especially close relationship with Fredericks Orphanage, which our Mission Made team will have the chance to visit and serve.
Another group that we are so excited to be able to see while in Haiti is Pappilion, one of our artisan groups. Pappilion was founded to help eliminate poverty in Haiti. After realizing that donations are helpful, but not for very long, Pappilion was created to give Haitian parents. By giving parents a job, they are able to support their children, rather than relying on financial help through donations to come in. In addition to providing parents with an income, artisans of Pappilion are provided with dignity in being able to make their own income. Women are also given a chance of education so that they are able to read and write. By having these opportunities, many families are able to give their children food and shelter and save them from malnourishment and disease. The jewelry made by the artisans is all made from natural or recycled material, such as clay, paper, glass bottles, and aluminum.
We are so excited that our Mission Made team is getting to spend time with both of these wonderful organizations to gain a deeper understanding of how our artisans and the people of Haiti live and what we can do to better serve them- keep checking back for pictures and updates from the trip!