We work in a small village called Minoterie, about 45 minutes north of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
2. How did Little by Little start?
Little by Little began in the fall of 2013 with a desire to open a sustainable business that would empower parents to provide for their own children. The founder, Isabel Stigge, through her church, had made multiple trips to serve at Tytoo Gardens Orphanage. While staying there and working with the orphanage over the years, she realized that most of the children living there had parents or family. These families were not together as a direct result of poverty. It is estimated that up to 80% of children living in orphanages have family who would be able to care for them were it not for poverty. With a crushing unemployment rate in Haiti, a huge part of the solution is skills training and job creation. Our name comes from a Haitian proverb tikras pa tikras, zwazo fè nich li or little by little, a mother bird builds her nest.
3. How does it work?
We work in partnership with Tytoo Gardens Orphanage in Simonette, Haiti, a neighbouring village. Tytoo has a program for mothers in crisis called Starfish. All of the Starfish moms have, at one point or another, tried to relinquish their children to Tytoo due to poverty. Tytoo has employees that go, ensure that the moms have adequate housing, adequate nutrition, and then they equip them with some job training. The program helps to provide relief, but it can only go so far without offering employment to the people who need it. Tytoo refers some of these Starfish moms to Little by Little. This is the process we use to hire our staff because we know that we are only hiring people who are in the most need.
4. What’s the training process?
When staff are first hired, they often work on a per-diem basis until enough skills are acquired for them to make a good wage being paid per piece.
5. Where does Little by Little source its materials?
As much as possible, we purchase either fairly traded or ethically sourced materials. We also try to source as much as possible in Haiti. Our metal art, clay beads, and paper beads are all made in Haiti. We also source materials from other like-minded companies and bring the materials with us to Haiti where our staff then assemble the jewellery.
6. How do you decide what to make?
Our products are designed almost exclusively in Canada because we are marketing our products to North Americans. When our staff develop products that are sellable in North America, we incorporate them into our arsenal.
7. How can I become involved?
Send us a message on our Facebook page, through the contact form on our website, or email email@example.com. The more volunteers we have, the more we can grow, the more we grow, the more people we employ, the more people we employ, the fewer children end up in orphanages.
8. Where can I buy Little by Little products in the future?
We have a website, www.littlebylittle.ca, and we have a booth set up at the Western Fair Farmers' and Artisans' Market in London, Ontario. We also have home parties and are involved in festivals in the summer. The best way to keep tabs on us is through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/littlebirdbigfaith). If you don’t have Facebook, you can always stay connected through our website.
9. Are you a registered charity?
Our partner, Crossworld Canada, is a registered Canadian charity.
10. Can I make a donation but not buy products from Little by Little?
You can most certainly make a donation. Donations are processed through Crossworld Canada and any donation over 10$ is eligible for a tax receipt. Enter project number 45707 and designate your donation to Little by Little.
11. How much of the proceeds go back to Haiti?
Currently, all of our proceeds go back to Haiti. In order to ensure the sustainability of Little by Little, we pay our employees a very fair wage but a wage that does not go above and beyond what would be appropriate for the work that they do and the area in which they work. We do not want our staff to live a lifestyle that is not sustainable if Little by Little were ever to cease to exist. When we have extra money from our sales, we pump it into improving the shop where our staff work, new tools for our staff to use, or new supplies. Everyone who works with Little by Little in Canada does so on a purely volunteer basis.