Just seven months after the unforgiving earthquake on January 12, 2010 that claimed 200,000 lives and left 300,000 homeless and jobless, REBUILD Globally (RG) opened its training center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It bared the mission to make a significant and long term positive change in the area after all it had suffered. You may ask, with such destruction where does one start? This was the very question Julie Colombino, the founder of REBUILD, was left with.
In mid 2010, I had the pleasure of getting to know Julie, better know as "Jules", at a fundraiser for REBUILD. It was quite evident that the tragedy shook her from within and she held a fiery determination to help. First thing first, she went to those who were most affected and listened to their needs. Jobs were the biggest request spoken by the people. Her contagious smile and ambitious heart set the stage for what was to come.
Where is REBUILD Globally now?
Since opening it's doors as a 501c (3) nonprofit, REBUILD (RG) plunged head first into creating jobs for the people. Their artisans are trained, employed and equipped to produce high-quality, hand-crafted recycled tire sandals for sale in the international market. Through the sale and export of sandals, the artisans (mostly woman) are empowered to reunite their families, pay for food and medical care, send their children to school, and accumulate savings for long-term stability. What's even better - the artisans use what most people in the world consider waste and turn it into something you and I would like to wear.
In the beginning, they started with four REBUILD artisans earning a living wage, impacting 57 earth-
quake survivors, with the annual operating budget of $11,857.50. They now have 32 artisans earning a living wage, impacting 288 earthquake survivors and 24 students in an apprenticeship program. Their 2012 annual operating budget was $102,000.80
Without further adieu, please check out these awesome products online and make your next sandal purchase here.