Thursday, August 4, 2011

Accomplishments to Date

We’ve been here for a little more than a week now, so what have we accomplished and what’s on the agenda for the remainder of our trip?

Well, I’ve personally learned that my Spanish leaves much to be desired, but hey, somehow I’m getting by on the same vocabulary used over and over again and I’ve learned to drop the letter “s” from everything I say!  As our  Nest field rep Matt likes to say, “These women speak faster than a machine gun shoots bullets” it’s mind bogging! Aside from that, we are hoping to complete our 700th conference bag for The Pujols Family Foundation by Thursday, and save for the 10 inches of rain that Tropical Storm Emily is threatening to bring along with her, that just might be possible.

At this time the co-op does not have any pending production orders. The women are excited to learn the art of jewelry making and we will now have the opportunity to begin our classes on Monday during the regular co-op hours with the supplies that I brought with me!  We’ve also purchased the materials to design new beach totes and a handbag that we’ll be marketing to the upscale hotels around the island. We hope to have the initial designs completed today as we are spending the weekend in the capitol city of Santo Domingo, where will be visiting hotels and museums during our stay to attempt to build partnerships with our cooperative. (We are also going to sneak in the Harry Potter movie as it just opened here TODAY!)

Dragonfly Designs, my company, will be placing an order for custom designed totes because they are beautiful, painstakingly made works of art and to keep the women employed as we try to develop a long term strategy for additional local business.  We hope to be able to post photos of the new totes soon and will be taking orders from the public for the new bags which I plan to bring back to the United States with me (to save on the normally excessive shipping rates) for distribution.

We’ve had the opportunity to introduce jewelry making to the children of the Batey and they absolutely love it. In fact, I’ve been approached to teach jewelry making classes to the entire Batey community as there is such an intense interest.  Dragonfly Designs offers a class in the United States called “Jewelry Making for Budding Entrepreneurs” and we will use this curriculum to teach business and jewelry making skills to the women and children in the Batey Aleman community. The cost to supply the entire community with sufficient tools and supplies (including shipping costs) is $1,425.00 dollars. To date, we’ve raised $330.00. Please help us fund this project and teach the art of jewelry making and the ability to sell it to promote self sufficiency, business acumen and self esteem to an entire community living in poverty. Our website accepts donations in $20.00 increments and Dragonfly Designs will send you the thank you gift of your choice!  Please help us spread the word by sharing this project with your friends as well! Together we CAN make a difference!

How can YOU help?

More soon on additional progress that we are making in Batey Aleman!

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