Two Years Down

 

Bagay Ki Bon started two years ago as an attempt to help move people out of poverty by empowering them to be a part of their own solution. We actually got our start as a vocational school in the community. We were teaching people job and language skills. But as we were working with the people in the community, we began to understand that job skills wasn’t the biggest need. We found many people in the community who were skilled craftsmen and seamstresses who had great work ethic and drive, but were not working and earning a living because there was no opportunity.

So with that in mind, we shifted our goals and became laser focused with what we were setting out to accomplish in that community. We were able to simplify all of our efforts down to one phrase. We exist to build Christ Centered economy in Haiti.

For two years now, we’ve been creating our bags and products (available in our shop) in our sewing center and importing them here to the US to sell. When a bag is purchased here, all of the money goes to either support them people creating the bags, to buy material locally in Haiti, or to support the orphanage on the same property. And this model has worked well. It’s created the jobs and economy we set out to impact, but you’ll notice, this model is completely dependent on US volunteers to sell the bags, and US money to sustain our work.

We understand that this is not a true sustainable model. So… we’ve undertaken our next big adventure.
Over the next one to two years, our goal is to transfer complete ownership of our sewing center over to our Haitian leadership team. We’ll work with them to create a marketing plan, hire a sales staff, and to get our bags into the Haitian marketplaces.

How you can make a difference? 

This is clearly no small undertaking. There’s a ton of work that needs to be done, there is a process that’s being developed, and training that is underway. It’s a similar process that tradesmen in the US set out on to learn the skills they need to run a company. We’re teaching hands on skills like balancing financial books, hiring and training workers, how to sell and market products. We’re visiting vendors and retailers to negotiate selling our merchandise. It’s a huge undertaking, but we understand it’s a valuable process.
As they’re learning how to run a business, a part of our plan is to subsidize their operation costs. For the first 4-6 months, we’re going to support them just as we have been doing for the last 2 years. We’ll be sending monthly support from our volunteer staffed events here. Our plan is to then decrease the amount of monthly support over the course of the two year period, we’ll slowly be sending less support as we build a market for our business on the ground in Haiti.
And this is where you come in.
As we undergo this process, we need monthly supporters who can help subsidize these costs with us. If just 20 people were to give $25/month we could completely offset the cost for the two year process. That’s just $300 for an entire year. $600 over the full 2 year period.
I’d like to ask you to consider being one of our monthly sponsors. As you consider giving, please keep in mind, that your funds are going directly to build Christ Centered Economy in Haiti. To give people a chance to be a part of their own solution. To allow people a means to healthcare and food for their family. And if that weren’t enough to inspire you to support, you’ll will periodically be receiving gifts to show our appreciation for your partnership.
Now if monthly support is not something you feel you can commit to, we have plenty of other ways you can join us in this. Buying our bags and products are a great way to support our work and keep the ministry going.
We’ve had people host in home parties to involve their community in our work.
If you haven’t yet been on a trip to the House of Blessing Orphanage and the sewing center, taking a trip down is a great next step. Not only will you see first hand the impact our efforts are having, you’ll have an opportunity to enter into this work with your own hands standing beside our staff and loving on our kids there (we have all of our trips for 2017 posted here).
There’s plenty of ways you can be involved and because there’s no benefit to me and I see the impact our efforts are having, I can unapologetically ask you to join us in this work. If you’re ready to jump in on this with us, we’ve made it easy to donate. Once you sign up here you’re account will automatically be debited monthly.
Thank you so much for your partnership and support. [Good Things] happen when we partner together.

A Grinding Halt

Imagine showing up for work this morning and being greeted by your employer telling you to go home. Not only could you not work today, or this week, but they were unsure when you would be able to come back to work.

That’s the reality at our sewing center in Calabasas right now. Last week the industrial generator fried the inverter that powers our Center and the work there. So for now, our seamstresses are out of work and will continue to be until we can find a solution.

The fix is really twofold… Immediately, we need to replace the inverter so that power can be turned back on at our center and the bunkhouses for where our U.S. teams stay. Then the next step is to replace the battery bank that holds a charge so we don’t have to constantly be running the generator.

The inverter will cost about $1700 to replace and the battery bank costs $250 per battery (there are a total of 10 batteries in the bank).  That’s around $4000 for everything.

So sure – that sounds like a large chunk of change, but we’ve never been lacking in anything we needed to move forward with what we felt God was doing with us. It just means we need to do some praying and working to figure this out together.

In trusting that God has this figured out, this is what we’re asking…

  1. Consider making an immediate gift to get the power back on there. Remember, the immediate need is to get the inverter back up and running ($1700), but anything will help. You donate online via PayPal here.
  2. Join our 3k fun run team and send out some support letters to help us reach our goal. There’s plenty of info here. If you’re out of town, you can still run it virtually. Register for the race, raise support, and you still get a shirt!
  3. Share, share, share… We just need to get the word out to the right people. If you can’t give, maybe God will use someone you pass it on to to meet the need.
  4. Pray and trust with us.

…they will know we follow Jesus by the way we take care of one another (our love)…