As I mentioned in the last post Good Threads is the economic engine that drives the Joan Rose community. When we worked in Esperanza our community consisted of a group of families but they did not live on our property or in our housing. With our move to Haiti we have consolidated our community so that all of our people now live on our property. It is the job of the Joan Rose Foundation to help our communities’ children, help create community leaders and develop our community. Good Threads role is to ensure that our families can sustain themselves and help our households begin the process of wealth creation.
Good Threads pays its employees extremely well and provides stable employment, something quite rare in Haiti, over 2/3 of the Haitian work-force do not have formal jobs. Of the 10.4 million people living in Haiti, 6 million live under the national poverty line of US$ 2.42 per day and over 2.5 million (24%) live under the national extreme poverty line of US$1.23. Our low level women make about 10 dollars a day or more than 4 times median national wage.
On top of the stable, well-paying job, we have several programs designed to help our women create wealth. These are:
- A Savings program. When each woman gets paid for her belt she has the option of putting some aside into her “bank account”. We have several women that take advantage of this. 2 have been able to save over 1,000USD with us, more than the average Haitians makes in 15 months
- A micro-loan program. Women can get loans from us to start a small business or buy something like a bed, stove or other relatively expensive household item.
- An investment program. For our women who participate in the saving program we help them get a return on their investment by loaning to other trustworthy women. We help the women come to terms, make a contract, put our stamp on the contract so that it seems official and loosely help with making sure both sides honor the contract.
- We also help women who are looking to get their tubes tied. This operation is relatively expensive and many women want to do it but cannot afford it. We do not push this in anyway but if a woman comes to us and wants to do this procedure we will pay for all or 2/3 of it depending on the woman and our current cash situation.
I will go into more depth on these programs in future posts. Thanks for the support and keep spreading the word about our work! We are making a significant difference in our families lives.