Jolina Auguste is our Workshop Supervisor and the very first employee hired by REBUILD globally. Before the earthquake, she worked as a shop-owner, selling cosmetics, soaps and cooking supplies in a corner bodega. The earthquake destroyed her business, stealing her livelihood and only source of income. She worked in factories and performed odd jobs until she met Julie and became the inspiration behind REBUILD globally.
Jolina responded to her shop’s collapse with optimism and an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a profound dedication. In the midst of the confusion and chaos of post-earthquake Port-au-Prince, Jolina’s clarity gave our founder, Julie, a vision for our social enterprise. She insisted that Julie think beyond the handouts that defined the emergency response, and rather focus on employment efforts. Jolina is the founder of a community women’s group, whose members became the first sandal makers at REBUILD. When faced with a challenge, Jolina is the first to calmly propose a solution, and the first to laugh about it afterwards.
Jolina is emotionally invested in REBUILD as the Workshop Supervisor, but she is also financially invested as one of the shareholders in the business. When asked what REBUILD means to her, Jolina responds that everything in her life has changed – her paycheck has enabled her to buy her own land, build a home, and pay her two daughters’ school fees. She has also received managerial training and business education. She says she is proud of what she does because she contributes to making a beautiful product that shows people the beauty of Haiti.
On any given day, one can find Jolina checking each sandal for loose threads and adding sizing tags, tracking the inventory in our local boutique, or working with the artisans through HR challenges. Jolina’s story is one of profound resurgence and growth, and she is truly the backbone of the workshop.