We have done it again, another successful year with your help!

Greetings from the President
I hope that your fall season has gotten off to a great start! We wanted to make sure we share the exciting news about the results of our trip to Haiti this Summer. 
Top row left to right: Rose (BoD), Tania (BoD), Obenor (Business Liaison in Haiti)  Middle row: CHES Haiti Volunteers  Third Row Left to right: Clarel (Treasurer), Rebecca (President) and Amy (BoD) 
 I was privileged to work with a superb team to pull off another trip where we exceeded our expectations. 

Our new and revamped curriculum was a success in Matènwa, La Gonàve, the island just off the shores of Haiti. In addition, we made some headways with other organizations on the ground in Haiti. The possibilities for partnerships that will increase our reach are ripe. 

Again this year, we found people who generously donated their air miles, purchased products, made cash donations, hosted us in their home in Haiti free of charge. CHES extends a very warm thank you to those wonderful supporters. As you're heading into this holiday season, we wish you the very best. We are so grateful for you and we thank you for your generosity.


Rebecca Obounou

P.S. If you want more up-to-date information about CHES, don't forget to follow us on Like us on Facebook Facebook
Mission Educate in La Gonàve: √ - Accomplished!

In our May newsletter, we shared with you our then upcoming trip to the island off of mainland Haiti, La Gonàve. There, we went to the town of Matènwa to work with women artisans this summer at Lekòl (School) Matènwa. The Matènwa school was co-founded by Chris Low, a former school teacher in the Massachusetts Cambridge Public School system. Matènwa is innovative pedagogically in that it teaches in the spoken language, Kreyòl and in that it uses the environment as an extension of the classroom making learning interactive


100% of Haiti's population speaks Kreyòl while less than 10% of the population speaks French. Yet, Haiti's education system is currently in French. This has had vastly negative repercussions for the country. Matènwa school is a model for the nation of how education in Kreyòl promotes the best learning experience for Haiti's students.


Our philosophy regarding education is aligned with that of Lekòl 

Matènwa. For months before our trip to Matènwa, we not only put together a tailored curriculum for the women artisans of Matènwa but we 

also translated the curriculum and all accompanying handouts into Kreyòl. 


In the wee hours of a Saturday morning in July, the CHES team left Logan Airport, landed in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, and then took a connecting flight on a "butterfly-like" plane (as described by Rose, a board member who attended the trip) to La Gonàve. Upon landing on the island's bare landing strip, we embarked on a three hour long drive on an immensely rocky road to a Matènwa.


Andral, our part-time business liaison based in the North of Haiti joined us on this trip as well. He continues to tell the experience below:


"Jiyè denye mwen te akonpaye reprezantan CHES US pou yon semèn fòmasyon pou yon kenzen fanm nan yon zòn ki rele Matènwa nan Lagonav (Ayiti). Se te yon bèl eksperyans paske pou soti Ilavach rive Matènwa nou te kouri machine pandan plis pase dezèdtan nan yon wout ki pa bon ditou. Sa te fè m panse ke moman ta pral du pou mwen nan Matènwa men se te toutafè diferan paske akèy la te bon anpil anpil.


Mwen te vrèman kontan pou m te fè pati bèl ekip sa ki te anime 3 jounen fòmasyon sa pou medam sa yo sou kijan yo kapab jere ti biznis pa yo. Yon fòmasyon te montre medam yo kòman yo kapab rekonèt fos, feblès ti biznis yo; ki òpotinite yo genyen ak ki sa ki ka menase bisnis yo. Se te yon bèl moman paske m te akonpagne fomatè sa yo: Madam Roseme, Prezidan Rebecca ak Amy.


CHES ap kontinye travay pou l soutni tout ti groupman ak moun ki entèrese fè ti biznis sitou moun ak groupman ki nan zòn rekile nan peyi dayiti. Mwen espere wap kontan soutni bel pwoje sa epi tou se te yonn nan pi bèl eksperyans ke mwen janm fè.





"Last July, I accompanied CHES US for a week of workshops for fifteen women in the town called Matènwa in La Gonàve (Haiti). It was a great experience. It took over two hours to drive to Matènwa on a road that was pretty horrible. I was a bit nervous about whether or not I would survive the week at Matènwa but the welcome we received changed my mind when we arrived. The people were very hospitable. 


It was a great experience to accompany Mrs. Roseme, Rebecca and Amy. I was very happy to be a part of a great team that hosted and taught 3 days of workshops for these women on how to manage their small business. One of the sessions taught the women how to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of their business. 


CHES is continuing to work to support entrepreneurs especially those in rural parts of Haiti. I hope that you'll be happy to support this great cause. This was one of the best ever experiences of my life."


Over the course of the 3 days of training, CHES covered a range of basic business topics including, conducting a SWOT analysis, visioning, goals-setting, calendaring, marketing, managing inventory, and financial planning. Andral also taught a session during the workshop. All sessions integrated hands on application using the artisans' business. At the end, thirteen women were awarded certificates of completion for attending the entire three days. The women rated our workshop very highly. Below are some of their comments:

Mwen kontan anpil pou tout bon pwofese m yo. 


I'm very happy for all of the great teachers." 


"Mwen remake ke tout bagay te byen paske tout moun te alèz. Youn te ede lòt konprann. 


I noticed that everything went well because everyone was comfortable and everyone helped each other understand."


"Pou mwen pati ki te pi bon se pwen nil Pouse Kreyòl, paske li montre nou aprann nou konnen ki kantite pwodwi ou dwe vann pou ou kouvri tout depans ou ak benefis. Depans fiks, varyab, total.  


For me the most important thing was the break-even point because it showed us the amount of product we need to sell to cover our costs and profit. Fix, variable and total costs." 


"3 jou mwen te renmen tout bagay. 3 Days I loved everything."



Get Your Holiday Gifts 
from US! 
Wait until you see what we've got!
Host a Shop with CHES Party  for your friends
and family where they can have a more intimate fun shopping experience with us. As a host, you can get a big discount on your favorite products. We still offer the scarves and the Kreyol Essence products that you all have fallen in love with.  Now we're offering you the opportunity to get creative and build your own gift box!

The students  in Haiti continue to receive the Eneji Pwop solar
 powered lamps and no longer have to resort to studying by the dangerous kerosene lamps. The dangers of kerosene lamps include, fires and res
piratory health issues.

You can also select us as your favorite organization through AmazonSmile
But there's More! We are happy to announce that we are now offering the hand-painted silk scarves of the women of Matènwa, La Gonàve. We are very pleased to continue our support of these women artisans' new enterprise in this way. Each silk scarf is finished over two days in a very labor intensive process. Each scarf is a unique work of art and signed by the woman who painted it. 
We're also offering beautiful bracelets from the Haitian business, Bijou Lakay (Home Jewelry in Kreyòl)! The bracelets are made out of bull horn. Bull horn is a sustainable material. The bracelets are just SO fashionable and eye-catching! Daphne Floreal is the dynamic founder and owner of this business. Read about this awesome lady in the next section.   

Feel free to contact us if you want to host us for a Shop with CHES party or if you need to purchase something for yourself.

You can reach us at info@chesinternational.org or 617-299-0564

You are always WELCOMED to DONATE!

Meet Daphne Floreal, Owner and Founder of Bijou Lakay

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What is your background? 

I am a 29 year old Haitian woman, born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. I love life. I always find the positive in everything. I look for a ways to help people. I enjoy traveling, reading and dancing; they are my therapy. I am an artist at heart. I deeply believe that everybody should do something to improve their own community.

I have a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from École Nationale Superièure de Technologie in Haiti and a certificate in Accessory Design and Jewelry Fabrication from Altos de Chavon in Romana, Dominican Republic.

What led you to start Bijou Lakay? Why did you decide to start in Haiti? What did it take to get started?

I started Bijou Kreyol during my last year in university. Before that, I started selling various crafts made from specialized bull horn. I fell in love with the bull horn material. I decided to make a line of jewelry for my own use. But every time I wore my creations, people asked me them as gifts or proposed to buy them from me. I decided to stop selling crafts and to showcase my own line of jewelry designs made from bull horn instead. 
I started Bijou Lakay with $45. This money was my pocket money that I was supposed to use for text books. My first customers were my classmates at my university, family and friends. My business blew up when I participated in the first ever craft fair held in Haiti in 2007. This exposition was called Artisanat en Fête. From that, I built a strong loyal customer base and continue to add new customers. Now, I am so proud of my balance sheet. My jewelry sells in Haiti, US, Canada and elsewhere.

What advice would you give to a potential entrepreneur in Haiti?

To any entrepreneur, I will say to always find what makes you unique from others and to work on it. My jewelry designs and my superb customer service make me unique.

To an entrepreneur in Haiti, I'd say, 'Patience. Never give up. Keep believing in your dreams, and always dream big. Even if you are living in one of the poorest countries in the world, your country can't define your story. You are the only one who can decide what your life, what your family and what your business will be. So don't be scared by problems, they are made to be resolved. Find the solutions and follow your dreams.'



We Still Need PEOPLE!
We have our work cut out for us here at CHES! We need a couple more dedicated and fun people to help us go further faster. We are a relaxed fun group of informal people that get stuff done (and done right) in flexible, collaborative and innovative ways. We are looking for: 
  • A secretary
  • A Board member
  • Vice President  
CHES often needs extra hands at vending tables. We are looking for people who are willing to go on our call list for vending events. Vending events normally occur during weeknights or weekends. CHES also offers for-credit opportunities and unpaid internship opportunities for college students as well.

If you are interested in learning more about CHES, join us at our next meeting on Saturday, October 25, 2014, 2:45 - 4 PM in Cambridge, MA. Please email resumes and questions to president@chesinternational.org/
ches.president@gmail.com or call 617-299-0564.

You can also see Rebecca talk about CHES in this video:
President Shares CHES Story
President Shares CHES Story 
CHES Virtual Photo Album

See what some current and past CHES volunteers have had to say:
CHES Volunteer 
CHES Volunteer Willine Molin  

"I joined CHES because I was driven by the mission to empower Haitian people and to help them bring business plans to fruition.

My administrative help in CHES has helped drive the work the team does when they arrive in Haiti. My experience has been invaluable we are a small family helping to raise a village.


To someone who is considering getting involved: JOIN! CHES is definitely an organization that welcomes everyone's talents and creativity.

- Nina F., current volunteer and former Secretary


"I joined CHES because the mission of enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty is close to my heart.

I really enjoy working with everyone who is a part of CHES and I would say this is a fun, dynamic and innovative group"  

- Tania T., current member of Board of Directors


I choose CHES because as a Haitian-American, I feel as though it is my responsibility to help out my homeland and help remove the negative stigma of Haiti being a poor country. So being part of CHES and its mission, I feel I have the opportunity help remove that negative stigma by creating jobs in Haiti.  


The CHES experience allows me to see 1st hand the exponential amount of love and support Haiti is receiving from varies type of ethnicity and organizations. The experience also helps me to be more connected to my ancestors' homeland and helps me better understand who and what I represent as a Haitian-American.  


To someone who is considering getting involved: As a member of a the CHES team, I commend you for wanting to join and be part of this very challenging but rewarding mission of helping a  rebuilding a country and helping to change lives of families and individuals in Haiti."

- Clarel A., current Treasurer

"I chose to join CHES because I thought it was interesting- wanted to get more involved. It peaked my interest beginning when I started working with CHES as part of a class project, particularly once I heard it was Christian. It seemed like a real noble organization with goals.


My CHES experience has helped me grow in being culturally diverse, understanding and seeing different team dynamics, and gave me a valuable opportunity to work amongst other Christians- not to mention pray! It can be awesome to see how an organizations with a Christ-centered mission lead.


To someone who is considering getting involved: Join! It isn't a life-long  commitment :) and you can learn a lot, be a part of the team, and join in the fun.

- Jennifer V., former Events Coordinator 

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