Press Release 6/29/16

Refugee Crisis in Hispaniola: REBUILD globally & United Nations Bring Jobs to Refugee Camps in Haiti

REBUILD globally partners with The United Nations to provide jobs for 34 refugee women, impacting up to 1000 individuals living in the community.
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – June 29, 2016 -REBUILD globally will provide training, education and jobs for 34 displaced persons in a refugee camp on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The Orlando-based non-profit recently signed a contract with the United Nations to secure funding for the effort that will create jobs and fund an education program in the village of Fonds Bayard.

“When we visited the refugee camp at Fonds Bayard and saw families living under tarps and surrounded by desperation it reminded me of where we began after the earthquake,” said REBUILD globally Founder and CEO, Julie Colombino.

In response to the devastation of the 2010 earthquake that rocked Haiti’s capital city of Port Au Prince, REBUILD globally created deux mains designs, a Haitian-owned ethical fashion company and workshop in  August of 2010.

“Jobs and education lifted the Haitian craftsmen and women in our deux mains designs workshop out of poverty after the earthquake in 2010. We firmly believe we can help families at the border rebuild their lives, too,” Colombino said.

Recent policy changes in the Dominican Republic have allowed Dominican authorities to deport individuals of Haitian descent whose parents immigrated from Haiti illegally years ago. As a result, thousands of families have been forced out of the Dominican Republic or fled over the border in fear. Many have no current ties to Haiti, nowhere to go, and no feasible way to start over.

When REBUILD globally visited the refugee camp the solution became clear: build a mobile employment unit, and outsource part of deux mains designs‘ sandal making process to the refugees in Fonds Bayard.

REBUILD globally will train and employ 34 recently-displaced heads of household to produce the repurposed tire soles used in deux mains designs sandal production.

deux mains designs will purchase those soles directly from community leaders and all proceeds will support the Community School of Fonds Bayard, which serves as the primary source of education for more than 1000 refugee families.

The school currently has no funds to operate.

“This is a complex situation and we are excited to partner with the United Nations to give 34 refugees the dignity of a job, and to help a village full of children go to school, too,” Colombino said.

To learn more about REBUILD globally, deux mains designs and this initiative see here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6izZ96kui8)

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