I am the founder and CEO of Afro Alice, a multipurpose natural hair center for the celebration and the promotion of natural hair for the Haitian community. One part of our work is to reach out to women in the countrysides through media, through workshops and field pilot events. Our first educational tour was in Les Cayes from October 17 through October 19.
The experience was very rewarding. The women who attended were longing for natural hair care and style solutions and were very satisfied and happy with our services and the initiative . The media representatives there were very helpful and cooperative. It went so well that we are planning to go back there at the end of the countrywide tour.
Here is what I learned:
1- The best gift someone can receive put aside life is knowledge. I witnes how knowledge improves and empowers people, how knowledge brightens their eyes and makes them happy. Knowledge gives a sense to their lives. I met with women that were using Fab laundry detergents and Fabuloso all-purpose household cleaner on their hair to clean it and make it smell good; others that ate Haitian Barbecue, patties and Coca Cola everyday instead of fruits, veggies and water- not because they do not have the financial capability to eat healthy- because they don’t know how to have a proper diet and how their diet affects their body along with their hair. The last customer we met was a 14-year old girl who was obviously sad because her hair was evidently damaged with rotten ends and you could feel she was not comfortable with herself because she was conscious that something was going wrong with her hair but she didn’t know how to take care of it. When she left, she was a new person, a happy and relieved young girl with her revived beauty and all excited to practice what she has just learned on how to take care of herself.
No monetary reward would make me feel so satisfied, accomplished, proud and fulfilled than to catch the tint of relief in the women eyes because they know now or they know better… to hear them say a heartfelt and warming thank you because they have learned something new that will ameliorate their life. It feels so great to make the difference in people’s life.
We left Les Cayes with a bunch of women empowered with knowldege: on how to love themselves, on how to accept themselves and their gifts, how to take care of their body, on how to improve the quality of their life.
2- It doesn’t take age or nationality or race or social ranking or anything than our mind to make a difference in our OWN life and in others’. When you have a can-do attitude, when you resourcefulness to your creativity, you can turn your passion into millions.
At Port-Salut. I met with Mamina, she is a 10-year old natural hair entrepreneur who crafts artisanal accessories and sells them at the beach on her spare time after studying. I was attracted by her resourcefulness, honesty and brightness. She is the youngest child of the family, attends schools, takes care of certain household chores, yet she takes the time to work on her passion and diligently sell her creations.
I truly enjoyed my journey to Les Cayes. And our next destination shall be Cap Haitian before the end of this year. Stay tune via our Afro Alice Instagram, our Afro Alice Twitter and our Afro Alice Website.