Beauty From Ashes: The Story of Rubble-Wear by Marian Hientz

Monday, January 02, 2012 Aimee Larsen 0 Comments

The necklaces will be given for a minimum $25 dollar donation.  It’s a great gift and every bit of the money you give goes toward bringing beauty from the ashes! People will also ask about your necklace because it is so unique and that gives us all the chance to keep Haiti active in conversations among your communities. 

 Shortly after returning  from a trip to Haiti in mid-2010,  Kelly  brought me a piece of rubble. It was from the destroyed neighborhood where Lovencia (who Kelly is adopting) used to live.  I took this piece of rubble and turned it into a sun-catcher and gave it to Kelly as a gift. 

Kelly-being-Kelly, wore the sun-catcher around her neck. Next thing you know people were constantly asking her, “What is that?”.  As she explained to people where the necklace came from, conversations about Haiti grew within her circle of friends and among strangers.  Bobbie, who also had also picked up rubble from Lovencia's neighborhood, soon requested that her piece be turned into a necklace as well. Of course I was glad to do it! She started sharing stories from Haiti with her co-workers, friends and strangers who became intrigued with her necklace.  People were not only asking about the significance of these necklaces, but were also interested in how they could have one of their own. Long story short, that first sun-catcher-turned-necklace evolved into the idea of making jewelry out of rubble. 
Hence, the birth of “Rubble-Wear”.
The next thing you know, we were asking our friends at Maison orphanage to send us a suitcase full of rubble from their streets so we could make jewelry.  We heard later that they laughed and said that Kelly must be crazy! Pierre, the director of Maison, visited the states in December 2010, and delivered the rubble filled suitcase to us.  I began to train our local community of inner city single mothers, volunteers, friends and family to make the jewelry. Two months later, I was on a plane to Port au Prince to train the caretakers of Maison Orphanage on how to do the same. 
When I first got to Haiti it immediately became clear that I would not be able to teach everyone all of the skills they needed to know in the short time that I had there.  Most of these ladies had never even held pliers before, much less considered making jewelry.  I had to quickly determine who had natural skill and who I could train to later train the other nannies.  By the end of the second day I knew who that would be - Glorieuse.
While I was teaching I had an excellent translator, but communication was still a challenge.  This is another reason why I picked Glorieuse.  She and I seemed to click on a deeper level and we responded exceptionally to each other non-verbally.  I could touch her hand or re-position a tool and she would totally understand.  She was a very quick, willing and skilled student.  I left Haiti hoping she would be able to teach the others and keep working.  Glorieuse proved to be a very diligent and faithful worker.  She trusted us even though not all of the financial details were worked out. Even when others thought she was foolish for continuing she kept working.  
It has been an amazing process to help empower another person and see hope return to their heart.  Leadership is a new role for Glorieuse, but I strongly believe in her and her ability, vision and perseverance.  I greatly treasure her trust in us as we continue to work out the many details for the growth and success of Rubble-Wear.
Rubble-Wear has so much potential.  Our dream is that it would initially help sustain the nannies' jobs at Maison Orphanage, which are endangered due to the financial hit and long term devastation of the earthquake.  The next step would be to provide special grants to help the caretakers with their number one desire - schooling for their kids.  Our ultimate long term goal is to build an apartment complex for the nannies and their families on the orphanage's new property. 
My heart is to keep hope alive in these precious women of Maison and to bring some sustainability to their lives. I believe that Rubble-Wear can do that, but we have a long way to go to make this happen. This is where YOU can enter the Rubble-Wear story. By purchasing these unique pieces of handmade jewelry, you have the opportunity to be an advocate for our Haitian friends.

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