Empowering Survivors: Sandra
Our friend Sandra has been a seamstress with Vi Bella for 8 years. Sandra brings leadership, dedication, and beauty to our team in Haiti.
Imagine being a teenager, losing your home and limb, and having no way of being able to provide for yourself. What does your future look like in an extremely poor and volatile country where work is difficult to come by, even for those who can freely and safely get around? Where do you find community and purpose? Can you ever feel hope again?
Sandra lost her leg when her home collapsed during the earthquake of 2010. She was traumatized, handicapped, and everyday life was extremely difficult to navigate. After being introduced to Mission of Hope, she was able to get a prosthetic leg and begin working as a seamstress with what is now Vi Bella. She also uses her tremendous gift of music by leading weekly devotional singing time with her Vi Bella community. Sandra cherishes the opportunity to pray and sing with co-workers.
Employment with Vi Bella has provided more than financial stability for Sandra. Her faith has been strengthened. She is financially independent and she provides for her mother, brother, and pays for her niece's schooling. She says:
My favorite part about working with Vi Bella is my social and spiritual growth. I am part of a community that helps transform lives. I have always been a Christian but working with other Christian artisans has further strengthened my faith. It isn’t often that you can say you work for a company that you truly feel has a purpose and a mission. We have fun and get plenty of work done. When you walk into our center, you’ll love the vibe. We’re always listening to gospel music and singing along. My team members, my friends, truly make coming in every day a blessing in itself as we support each other through great times and hardships.
Now, eight years later, Sandra is still passionate about her work. She cares deeply about the work that she does and is personally invested in and motivated by Vi Bella’s mission to constantly teach new skills, while at the same time empowering each artisan to be independent and lead their households with prosperity.
Despite the increasing dangers and difficulties of living in Haiti, Sandra sees beyond herself and hopes customers can do the same. She knows firsthand the impact that shopping with a greater purpose can have. Her life, and the lives of her family, have been changed because of steady, healthy employment in a place where her whole-person is cared for, and she wants customers to join in that mission. She says:
I would like to tell our potential customers to Join Us! I would also encourage our potential customers to support our Vi Bella community because your shopping experience will be more meaningful and personalized knowing that you are helping transform our lives and our surrounding communities.
Sandra knows Vi Bella is more than an accessory company, it is a life-giving community where artisans and customers alike are given opportunities to live beautiful lives by transforming communities and connecting cultures. As image bearers of our God, each person is worthy of a life filled with beauty, hope, dignity, and purpose and we are privileged to be a part in bringing this mission to life.