I’ve been enjoying watching Creators of Tomorrow, a ten episode documentary show available on Vimeo that follows the journeys of three social enterprises that are trying to better the world. Specifically, I’ve been interested in the story of Haiti Babi, a fair trade knit and crochet organization started by two Seattle women that employs mothers in Haiti to help keep their children out of orphanages.
This is Episode 1 of Creators of Tomorrow. All episodes are available on Vimeo.
Knit and Crochet Helping Moms in Haiti
The documentary specifically follows the story of Resilia who is trying to earn enough money to reconnect with her 4 year old orphaned daughter Angeline after the death of her husband. We learn her story in the first episode and see her get interviewed and hired for Haiti Babi as the series continues. We learn from the Haiti Babi website, “Angeline is extremely bright so Resilia believed that if she grew up in an orphanage she would have the opportunity to get a good education, since Resilia could not afford to send her children to school.” After a few months of working with Haiti Babi, she was able to afford to bring her daughter home. She has six children who are all healthy and in school. She is just one of the moms that is able to keep her children thanks to this work. All of their stories are touching.
Fair trade companies like this one teach the women to knit and crochet and pay them a fair living wage for their work. The blankets are machine knit with a hand crocheted edging. They also sell matching hats. The items are sold in the United States. According to the Haiti Babi website, the women working for the company are earning twice the minimum wage. The women are able to keep their families together and keep their children healthy and educated thanks to this income. They are able to spend their money in their local economy, helping others in the area as well.
Haiti Babi launched in 2012 after successful Indiegogo crowdsourced funding. It isn’t easy to keep a business like this operating, and of course it isn’t always easy for the women working at the company even if it does give them a great opportunity, and I appreciated that the Creators of Tomorrow series was honest about this, while still sharing the bigger vision of why organizations like this one are important.
Check out this short Q&A with Haiti Baby’s founder over at Zulily