The foundation of the new sewing workshop in Grande Saline.

A good foundation is essential for supporting a physical structure, like a building, or a program, like a community education initiative.  Today Health for Haiti is excited to highlight the literal and figurative foundations that support the popular sewing skills program in Grande Saline.

Miss Dana teaches pattern making.

For the past few years, formal sewing classes have been offered to adults and children in the Grande Saline community.  Miss Dana and Mr. Edouard have worked with students to teach them how to sew by hand and with (solar powered!) sewing machines.

The teachers have impressive skills, and they teach the basics of pattern making as well as how to make all kinds of clothes, including skirts, pants, blouses and school uniforms.


A student in Grande Saline wears a uniform that was made by a sewing student.

The sewing program has been a source of pride for many people in the community.  Students have talked about the sense of satisfaction they feel when they sew a dress and then wear it. They talk about feeling empowered when they develop their skills to the point where they can make clothes for other people.

Some even talk about future dreams of owning a company that makes clothes that can be sold in Haiti and in other parts of the world. All of them appreciate the chance to develop their sewing skills, an opportunity which not only brings personal satisfaction but can lead to valuable economic opportunities as well.

One of the challenges of the sewing education program has been to find space to store their machines and other sewing supplies. Construction of cabinets in the classroom helped quite a bit, but they still struggle for enough space to work efficiently. In addition, as the students develop their skills, they would like to have a dedicated space to display and maybe even sell their work.

Now, we are excited to announce that construction of a Sewing Workshop in underway!  Although we can only see the foundation so far, the sewing students and teachers have described it as a “dream come true”.

As we watch with excitement while the new workshop takes shape, we are thinking about all of the other foundations that have contributed to the strength and success of the sewing program. Health for Haiti students, staff, and donors have collected, packed, and carried sewing supplies.  The sewing teachers have traveled to the church for classes, and shared their knowledge and skills to provide high quality education for their students.

A sewing student works on a pattern.

The sewing students have worked hard as they learn difficult new skills, often without proper lighting. They have helped each other to learn and always comment on how much they appreciate their teachers and the donors who support their program. And it is Health for Haiti donors who have generously shared their resources to fund construction of the sewing workshop that will help to further strengthen and grow this successful initiative.

It is very exciting to see the stone foundation that will support the sewing workshop, but it is truly inspiring to think about all of the people here and in Haiti who have helped to build the unseen foundation that solidly supports this community initiative.  Thank you to the entire Health for Haiti team!

Another view of the foundation for the new sewing workshop.

Attention SUNY Broome Students: If you want to visit this beautiful foundation in person and meet some of the awesome sewing students and teachers, Health for Haiti is currently accepting applications for our winter 2020 class.  Come and be a part of the Health for Haiti team!  

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