Shelley in Haiti
One woman’s quest for orphan prevention through job creation
Shelley Jean traveled to Haiti determined to adopt an orphan she had discovered online. Although she was already the mother of two biological children, expanding her family by embracing a displaced child was, in part, a fulfillment of her compassionate Christian faith.
But when she witnessed the agony many Haitian women experienced when poverty —not lack of love—forced them to give up their children to orphanages, she was outraged.
Soon, a new mission blossomed. As she came to better understand and appreciate the people of Haiti, Shelley had a vision of creating jobs that would help some parents earn an income so that they could support their babies and raise them to become productive adults.
Despite her own domestic challenges and, at times, the doubts about God’s providence that arose after witnessing the devastation caused by earthquakes and hurricanes, Shelley’s trial-and-error approach took hold.
First, she taught a small group of mothers how to make artisanal products that she now markets worldwide. But she did not stop there.
Papillon Enterprise, which began as Apparent Project, now has a global reach that has been recognized and praised by Oprah, Vogue Magazine, The Gap, and designer Donna Karan.
But there were many sacrifices and defeats along the way. As Shelley sought to reshape the economic landscape of a small nation in dire need of help, she also restored her own ravaged beliefs so that she and her family could emerge stronger and with their faith intact.
This memoir is ideal for women of all faiths who know in their hearts that the cruel world can be transformed by love. For men, this unique search for truth sheds light on the undeniable power of the feminine spirit.
“… Shelley’s absolute passion and commitment for the human right to a dignified livelihood … is palpable.”
“ … what she’s made of herself, as this unflinching story reveals, is a servant … if this book doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.”
People in the Book – Putting a face with the name
About the Author
Shelley Jean is an entrepreneur working on behalf of the poor in Haiti. She is the founder of Papillon, Papillon Empowerment and Co-founder of Apparent Project. She spends her time between Haiti and Olympia, Washington.
Her passion is for mothers and fathers in Haiti to be able to keep and care for their children. She is also a wife, mother and adoptive mother and resides with her husband Jeremiah and her four children, two of whom are from Haiti.