What makes a country like Haiti so poor? Why are there so many orphanages? What can those of us from a place a privilege do to help in a country where the poverty seems relentless, systemic, and complicated? Are there better options than building more orphanages to help children in poverty? All of these questions and more are addressed in Shelley’s newest book, “The Orphan Gospels” where she wrestles with the complicated solutions to child abandonment and orphan care in an attempt to bring hope to the plight of the orphan both in Haiti and worldwide.

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Shelley Jean’s debut, Shelley In Haiti – One Woman’s Quest for Orphan Prevention Through Job Creation has been inspiring people around the world since the release. American author and activist, Mary Fisher said, “Shelley could have slid through a life of leisure. A gifted artist, an entrepreneurial problem solver, a walking therapeutic clinic, a spiritual guide – it’s all hers, and more. But what she’s made of herself, as her unflinching story reveals, is a servant. And in becoming the servant she is, she found joy. If this book doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.”

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Shelley Jean is an entrepreneur who works on behalf of the poor in Haiti through sustainable job creation. Her heartbeat is to provide a solution to the orphan crisis and through her fair-trade certified business, Papillon Marketplace, has become a beacon of hope for mothers and fathers who would otherwise have to abandon their children to orphanages or worse because they can’t afford to keep them. Shelley has spent most of the last decade residing in Haiti, speaks Haitian Creole and has become a resource not only for working with the poor but also on current events in Haiti.

Shelley is a mother to her four amazing children, two of them adopted from Haiti, and currently splits her time between Florida and Haiti. She is an author of two books, Shelley in Haiti (2017) as well as The Orphan Gospels (2019), co-founder of the non-profit organizations Apparent Project and Papillon Empowerment and speaks and writes about the topic of sustainability and solutions for poverty whenever she can.

Gucci Bags now made in Haiti

I rode on the back of the motorcycle through the bumpy riverbed and headed north for more than thirty miles. I had been holding on for dear life to Maxime, my driver, as we road up the winding route towards Mirebalais, but at some point, we turned off the main road...

Mother’s Day

I got on the phone with my mother last night from Haiti.  She and I have both been a part of working in Haiti with a heart for orphan prevention for the past ten years. Some people may wonder what fuels us. Who knows how much of our own stories and hidden memories...

Making An Impact – Shopping Online

The list is drafted at 3:15pm, just before the Papillon artisans are wrapping up a day of work. The work day is slightly shorter than a typical workplace in Haiti. The foundation of the business as one employing mothers who were fighting to keep their kids fed and out...

Riots and Hope

The darkest part of the night always has the hope of the morning. I feel that way today about my Papillon. This year has been hard in every way. While sales continue to be good, setbacks, personal relationships, hurricanes, unexpected expenses and having to grow up...


The  house I rent in Haiti is two stories tall and concrete. I live on the top floor apartment and the bottom floor is now used for packing and receiving. I live modestly, but have a solar hot water heater and a few air conditioning units, so just that alone makes me...

Guerline’s Story

Guerline, one of our original four, is a nanny in the Apparent Project daycare. Her older son is in school, and the younger, whom she relinquished for adoption, is living with his adoptive family in the Midwest. They are Facebook friends with Guerline and...