Advance Haiti creates home-based, micro businesses for parents and for orphans aging out of institutional care. Fathers, mothers, extended family and young adults are given the means to begin a business from home in Port-au-Prince.
Examples of what Advance Haiti has had success with so far include a barber shop, jewelry making, sewing, clothing sales, wedding dress rental, as well as breeding goats. A great mix of opportunities to suit individual needs and tastes!
We found, through 10 years of visits to Haiti and building relationships with community in Santo and Carrefour, that home based business are culturally relevant (there are no shopping malls or retail plazas - most people in the poorer neighbourhoods buy, sell, trade with their neighbours), economical (we are not paying rent on a retail space), and promote family connection (babies and pre-schoolers can stay home close to Mum or Dad).
Future plans include hair salons, to-go cafes, motorcycle repair, small engine repair (such as generators, fans, ac units, sewing machines) and sandal making.
When you partner with Advance Haiti, you are coming along side hard working, dedicated families that want to make the business you help them start a going and growing concern. A sustainable income will help a family with food and water costs (these prices have inflated 20% in Haiti this year), school fees (school is not free, many families have to choose one child per year and rotate their attendance), home repairs (hurricanes and the heavy rainy season bring severe damage to already at-risk structures) and medical costs.
We are volunteer operated in Canada. We (Nicola Mansell Topsom and Abigail Mansell Sampson) run operations from our busy homes, and have very few overheads (photocopies, a bank account, business cards). Fundraising is done by selling crafts and jewelry made by our Advance Haiti partners in Haiti, an annual event in Edmonton, Alberta and coffee/craft nights at sponsor's homes. A business from Burlington, Ontario kindly covers the costs of Nicola's bi-annual flights from Toronto to Port-au-Prince.