501(c)3 Non-Profit empowering the poor in Haiti

Shirley Berthier

Just after the earthquake, when a surprising amount of interest was coming in for all things Haitian, we did a mass hiring of about thirty people to roll beads. I didn’t really know who any of these people were other than that they could roll beads. At the time, we had an intern who didn’t speak any creole and she identified one of those new hires, a young beautiful girl, named Shirley, because she could speak English. Shirley started helping out with more than just bead rolling because of her education and language skills and before we knew it, she was my one and only assistant, manager, translator, quality control officer, and customer service rep all rolled into one. She probably would have been an assistant to the director for Papillon accept for the fact that she was only 16 years at the time and still needed to finish school. Later I found out that she was living in a tent with her single mother and brother and was the only breadwinner of the family.
Her father, for some reason, had left the family and immigrated to the United States when she was a baby and had all but forgotten about them. She had only seen him twice in her life. And I would come to know a bit of hurt in her life stemmed from this abandonment.
Shirley continued to put herself through school, continue in management, helped her family get out of a tent, and has been a huge asset to Papillon Enterprise and Apparent Project in Haiti.
This fall, Papillon Enterprise was invited to go back to the New York Now Gift Show. I am so happy to say that Shirley will be there at the trade show to represent Papillon Enterprise and will travel to the United states for the first time in here life in January for the show. The US Embassy was gracious enough to allow me to bring three of my brightest managers with me and they were all granted five year visas. The opportunities for the company and for Shirley are limitless. She has been beaming from ear to ear for the past week. I asked her if she was proud to have a visa to travel, and her reply was that she was so proud to have done it by herself- and not because of her father’s status. So proud of this girl! She is going places! Congrats for all of your hard work girl! You’ve definitely earned it!!

5 Comments
  1. YAY! Way to go Shirley! We benefited from Shirley's knowledge, compassion and "grown-upness" when she traveled with us to Massaide and helped translate at a young women's conference on health education for Young Life Haiti. What a blessing she was! Couldn't believe she was just 16. Such a great young woman with lots of talent. So happy for her and the Apparent Project.

  2. From all the "Haiti Ladies" in Ellensburg – Yay Shirley! You are so beautiful and so smart!! God has GREAT THINGS planned for you! (Jeremiah 29:11)

  3. Sometimes it is better to keep a distance from strangers

  4. That's a very intelligent decision you had made there. I congratulate you on your initial success. Just keep up the good spirit and you have long way to go in your success path.

  5. is there a email i can reach you at ? i am trying to be in touch for a project in canada with your products please email me at patricia@rootcanals.ca

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