First Friday Update: Moringa Entrepreneurs

The ‘First Friday Update’ of June highlights how our grants create ripples of opportunities for vulnerable children around the world.

GO Local Hero Daniel Tillias is the Founder and Director of SAKALA. SAKALA’s mission is to promote peace, reconciliation, tolerance, and justice throughout Haiti.  Daniel grew up in Cite Soleil, the largest slum community in Port-au-Prince (and of all Haiti).  Violent uprisings erupted in Cite Soleil while Daniel was in law school; he felt compelled to leave school to focus on bringing his community together through SAKALA. Currently, SAKALA runs sports programs, horticulture, empowerment, and vocational training programs benefitting 250 children.

In December, GO Campaign partnered with Daniel to expand SAKALA’s youth entrepreneurship program supporting 50 youth through 12 youth-led enterprises. The project is well underway. Funds were used to train youth in business management, marketing, and graphic design. In addition, funds were used to purchase equipment that would benefit all the youth-led businesses such as label makers, computers, etc. Due to the success of the program, three additional businesses launched since the start of the grant: a welding cooperative, a moto (taxi) business, and bracelet company which uses recycled materials to create their products.

Most exciting is the success of the moringa entrepreneurs. The benefits of planting and harvesting moringa trees is two-fold: the community has a new source of nutrition from the leaves, and the youth entrepreneurs are able to produce moringa oil from the seeds. These youth were able to secure a contract with Moringa For Love to provide 5 gallons of moringa oil a month to this California-based non-profit for $750! If all goes well this year, Moringa For Love may increase their order. If you want to support our young entrepreneurs, please consider making a purchase at Moringa For Love. Profits from sales will be reinvested in the Haiti program and help our youth!

Meet Stanley

Stanley is 24 years old. When he joined SAKALA’s entrepreneurship program he was not really the picture of professionalism. His hair was unkempt, he did not care about first impressions, and he was very unmotivated.

That changed when he started working in the moringa production business. To avoid contaminating the seeds and oil, Stanley had to maintain good hygiene. As he saw his business grow, he was more motivated to work hard and pay attention to the details—he even cut his hair!

Now Stanley works in both moringa and compost businesses. The money he earns helps him pay for school so he can continue to pursue his dreams!