Rebecca Sower has been asking for craft supplies that will be used by women in Despinos, Haiti for her Haiti by Hand initiative. Of course, I wanted to help, so this is my first attempt at putting together a batch of earring kits. I tried to keep it simple – basic designs that are not too hard to make and I tried to include a few different colors so it would be fun for the women. I also remembered to include some clip-ons since I have no idea what the pierced to clip-on ratio is in Haiti.
The hardest part for me was creating directions that did not use any words. Rebecca indicated that some of the women do not read and if they did, it would not be English. So, I created an instruction sheet that uses pictures and graphics only. Two tools are needed – jewelry wire cutters and pliers. I wasn’t sure how to refer to the correct tool to use for each step at first. I then realized if I could find some that had different color handles, I could take a picture of them and use them in the instructions.
I don’t know how this will end up. Best case, they will actually be able to make a couple of pair of earrings each and have something they are proud of. Worst case, they feel like I feel when I’m trying to decipher a manual that came with something I bought and makes no sense whatsoever. I usually get through it and hope they do too. My biggest hope is that they are able to make the earrings and over time, I can teach them some more advanced techniques and maybe they can sell the earrings to make a little money.
I can learn from any feedback I get and make improvements to the instructions too. Here’s hoping this works!