Sowing the Seeds of Empowering Young Adults to Sew Silk Art - International Relief

Woman teaching girl to sew.

Twenty-one-year-old Herold Jean Baptiste joined the program in 2005. Back then he lived with his mother and step-father and five siblings in a two room home. His step-father was seen as head of the household. Because Herold was not considered his child, he was asked to leave in 2007. Throughout all of this a CFC-supported organization provided Herold with his education, meals, and an extended family. Woman teaching girl to sew.

Herold never took any opportunity presented to him for granted and now as a young adult Herold rents his own place; his brother lives with him. Last year, his mom became very ill, and he was able to pay for her medicine. All of that was from the proceeds of the art he was taught and created through a CFC-supported organization’s silk painting program. All of his supplies are provided by the organization. His art is sold in the US mostly at boutiques and art fairs in Florida. Proceeds from the sale of his art goes directly to him to live.

Recently Herold contacted the U.S. Director and told her "When I 15, I thought everything was done for me, but I realize it's not that at all. Grace with opportunity you've have given me. You helped me with my dream of being an artist."

His dream is to become an artist like his idol Daniel Jean Baptiste, a silk artist in St. Lucia.

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Seventeen-year-old Shedla Jouissance joined this particular CFC-supported organization in 2012. One of seven siblings she and her brother are currently participating in CFC-supported programs. Shedla is very bright, determined young woman and never backs down from a new challenge. Her enthusiasm, hard work, and kindness to others define her.

Shedla is currently participating in a CFC-supported organization’s Young Entrepreneurs program, providing creative skills training to young adults. As one of the first participants the sewing program she has excelled.

The sewing program is currently focused on making aprons and recently received funding to produce pouches for reusable straws which will be sold in the US providing participants with a source of income. The goal, beyond teaching students to sew successfully is to help them begin micro-businesses with a used sewing machine and supplies.

When Shedla completed her first project she sent a note to the U.S. Director saying, "Thank you for having given me a chance to learn how to sew. I promise you to do my best."

International Relief