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A Gift From Heaven for Lourne Florestal in Haiti

May 17, 2022


The Americas

“In the month of May last year, when Father Zucchi took our names,” explains Lourne Florestal about enrolling in Tzu Chi’s vocational sewing program. She says, “I thought it was for a job. After they told us it was for a class… [I] didn’t like it.”

Lourne is one of the women who was enrolled in the pilot vocational program in Port-au-Prince Haiti. It’s part of a work-for-relief initiative that empowers women with vocational skills for free to help them earn a better living. While she resisted initially, Lourne tells us that her confidence blossomed and she came around quickly: “the year I came here, I didn’t know how to sew, because I couldn’t pedal the sewing machine. But three days later, I tell the machine, ‘I’m in charge, not you!’”

Since then, Lourne has been attending classes and sewing non-stop. “She cares about her work,” says sewing teacher Lorcy Demorcy; “she wants to finish before everyone else… When she found this program it was as if God had sent her a gift from heaven.”

See what she means – and see the impact the program is having – in our latest video.Then, support our relief efforts around the world at


Director: Keziah Jean
Director of Photography: Keziah Jean
Editor: Piao Yanxin

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