The goal for the Women’s Empowerment programs: Zel Haiti and the Microloan programs are to create dignified jobs for Haitian women so that they are able to provide for their families.
Zel Haiti (formerly Ila Joi) was born out of the idea that skill development and employment addresses the needs of families before they are at the point of desperation, driven to give their children to an orphanage because of extreme poverty. The program started in 2012 with mothers who came to relinquish the rights to their children simply because they could not afford to feed them. In 2015, we added our seamstress portion and in 2018 we began our microloan program. We currently employ 9 seamstresses, 4 artisans, 2 auxiliary staff and 3 different managers. Our seamstresses and artisans work hard to create medical scrubs, yoga mat bags and other home goods while the artisans create jewelry and ornaments out of recycled materials. Zel Haiti believes in paying fair, living wages. With their wages, the staff have been able to put food on their tables, pay for school for themselves and their children and pay rent or build a house. For many of them, these were just pipe dreams prior to being employed at Zel Haiti.