On January 12th, 2013 we went and taught the first soapmaking workshop to OFEDA, Organisation des Femmes Devouees en Action. OFEDA is a group of amazing haitian women who banded together after the earthquake to form an organized group. As a group, they met to discuss issues, to support each other and to make plans for a better future. They decided that they would start businesses to work towards prosperity and change their situation. They started with a card making business and then decided to start a soap making business.
The first soapmaking workshop with OFEDA took place on January 12, 2013 which happened to be the three year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake which flattened most of Port au Prince and killed several thousands of people. On a day representing such destruction, pain and death, the women of OFEDA came together, sang a song, made a prayer and the workshop began. They soaked up every bit of instruction and were soon mixing lye into water, scooping and melting oils and stirring while singing their beautiful soap to trace. As they poured it into the molds, they smiled and laughed with excitement and accomplishment. The next day as the unmolded and cut the soap they carefully and gently passed it around so everyone could touch it and smell its wonderful fragrance. This workshop represented their push for prosperity, change, hope and a brighter future.
Coming up on January 12th, 2014 we will be back in Haiti to work on the soap business and also celebrate the soap group’s anniversary. During the course of this year, OFEDA has learned the basic process of soapmaking and now makes beautiful soap. Starting a business in Haiti for these women has not been easy and they’ve had to overcome obstacles such as supply issues and sourcing ingredients. These amazing women have stuck to it and building up their business. They will be successful. They are putting in the work and we are so very proud of them.
We want to celebrate this important anniversary!
There are a few things that we are wanting to provide them to help celebrate and to encourage them to keep moving forward.
1. A party with a big meal, music and dancing - OFEDA is over 200 women strong and our celebration will include food for the whole group. Rice, beans, fried plantains…and slaw will be some of the food provided.
2. Certificates - These women have been through several soapmaking workshops and business workshops with the Lovin’ Soap Project. We want to provide them with official certificates so that they can proudly show everyone what they’ve accomplished.
3. Aprons - They’ve specifically asked for some soaping gear! We’re going to have some aprons printed up so they can have some work gear to proudly wear during their soapmaking.
4. Workshop - We will be teaching another workshop to help keep the business moving forward. This workshop will be more business oriented. We’ll finalize packaging, packing for shipments in case packs and other things related to selling the soap.
To help pay for this huge anniversary party and workshop we are looking for a few $200 sponsors!
As a thank you, you will receive a thank you card from the soapers, two Lovin’ Soap Project shirts, a listing on our sponsor page and a thank you on all of our social media platforms including facebook, twitter, our newsletter and blog.
We also wanted to put together a fun little book of images of soapmakers in the US (and around the world) who are helping to support the Lovin’ Soap Project and OFEDA in starting their business. We need soapmakers to send us pictures! We would love for the pictures to be of yourself either in your studio, holding soap or behind a table of soap. We always let our groups know that there is a whole tribe of soapmakers who support this project by either providing funds or by providing good vibes, sending prayers and support. We want to show them!
Email pictures to [email protected] and be sure to include your name and where you live.
We can’t do what we do without your support!