Papillon Enterprise’s homepage says it all. Their mission: orphan prevention through job creations. How beautiful is that? I was ecstatic when they reached out to me to do a blog piece. I instantly fell in love with their mission and company. How can you not?
A little background knowledge about this booming small business. It all started with Shelly Jean. She went to Haiti to adopt a child and discovered an overwrought and saturated adoption system. As she learned more, she realized that the issue isn’t that children are being orphaned because of deceased parents, but that parents simply cannot afford to take care of their children. Deeply moved and determined to help, she co-founded Papillon Enterprise in 2009.
Fast forward to today, Papillon Enterprise has helped countless families and individuals by teaching them skills and giving them work so they can support their children and remain an intact family unit. They have also grown beyond the original four artisans and now have almost 300 employees!
I had the pleasure of speaking with Calli Himsl, Superintendent of Human Engagement. She lives and works in Haiti and luckily the day we connected the stars aligned, and Skype was working on my side of the mountain and her side of the island. I love having the opportunity to connect real-time with entrepreneurs like Calli. Her passion for what they are doing and accomplishing radiated in her voice and warmed me up on a rather snowy day here in Colorado.
I was particularly interested in hearing how they do what they do and what their process looks like. Calli explained that many of the people they help have never had a job, have a 1st-grade education level, and are illiterate. They basically have found a way to employ the unemployable.
It all starts with training. Papillon Enterprise helps people become artisans through training and developing the skills they need to create handmade products. They also help foster creativity and encourage their artisans to explore personal interests as it leads to higher job satisfaction. When you browse Papillon’s website, you can see that creativity in the wide variety of jewelry, accessories, and even homewares that artisans create. As much as possible, they use materials and supplies that are local and native to Haiti.
Awareness is a huge part of Papillon Enterprise. Simply letting others know about what they do and how they give back. It’s amazing to think about how much good one business can do. So here is where you come in, my dear reader. You can help Papillon, too. I challenge you to pay it forward. Tell at least one person about this fantastic company and let’s help raise awareness together.