Sadly, I’m finding that my time is dwindling rapidly here in the DR and there is so much more I’d like to accomplish before making the trek back to the US.
The women in the co-op have made incredible progress in their jewelry making skills as evidenced by the photos of their work and this is only after 1.5 weeks of practice! They are so excited about the prospect of including this newfound skill to their repertoire.
The entire Batey community is waiting in vain for the arrival of new materials purchased on their behalf from our generous donors. To date we’ve funded $690.00 towards our goal of $1,425.00. Unfortunately, we’ve had to spend far too much time going from government office to government office to have the materials released from customs without paying exorbitant taxes (double the cost of the goods.) If only I could spend the precious time I have left working with the community instead of being caught up in bureaucracy, but such is life and my expectations are set to exactly where they should be.
Luckily, my girls, Giana & Bryn, are still able to carry on in my absence from the community and we have high hopes that tomorrow will be the magic day when we can pick up our much-desired supplies!
On a high note, we have completed a very professional “look book” advertising the newly designed beach totes and jewelry line that will be presented to hotels and gift shops around the island that cater to the tourist industry.
In addition to the new jewelry skills the women are learning, they also have a desire to expand their business skills and understanding of how to price, design and market merchandise. We’ve already begun some classes to increase their understanding and business skills. The women will be presenting these skills to the Pujols Family Foundation (the co-cponsor with Nest for the women’s co-op) in early September and we are helping to prepare them.
I wish I could adequately express how many people are eager to learn the skill of jewelry making. It’s VERY expensive to obtain the necessary materials here in this country, and people see this as a viable skill to make a living. They are so grateful for this opportunity that we are presenting.
People in the Batey do not have running water, the walls and roofs of their homes are made from corrugated tin and they have dirt floors. It rains and floods here often with frequent power outages.
Please remember that You can make a real difference in the lives of these women and children of the Batey Aleman community. Dragonfly Designs will donate a pair of our sterling silver style #199 earrings for each $20.00 gift of jewelry making supplies to the Batey.
How can YOU help?
More soon on additional progress that we are making in Batey Aleman!