Yolaine's Gift

After the earthquake, Yolaine Ciné lost everything.

Her home in Port-au-Prince destroyed, Yolaine made the decision to return home to the Central Plateau. With little more than her sewing machine, Yolaine and her daughter returned to her hometown, Bien-Aime, to rebuild their life. 

In Port-au-Prince, Yolaine was a seamstress. She bought second-hand clothing to fix and resell on the busy streets of the capital. Although it didn’t pay much, her work helped to pay for her daughter to attend school. 

When she returned to Bien-Aime, she found many children out of school simply because they could not afford uniforms. Without hesitation, Yolaine began giving what she could - her time and talent. She stepped into help, teaching sewing skills to the students so they could return to school.

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Yolaine started with 50 students. Today, she teaches more than 70 students with the same tireless sewing machine. Students hike down from mountain villages on weekends to learn from her. Some make uniforms for themselves, others for their sisters, brothers, and cousins.

“I saw that skills are nothing if not shared. Now, we work for their future and I share the skills that I have.”

After loss and hardship, Yolaine uses her skills to empower students, selflessly and without pay. She knows that an education is the cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant community. 

This giving season, we ask you to follow in Yolaine’s generous footsteps by giving education. With your help, students across all 40 Summits schools will have the skills they need to thrive. 

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“The sewing has helped me a lot. I started in 2012. Yolaine helped me sew my own clothes. I didn’t have clothes to wear and it helped me to have clothes and go to sell clothes in the market. I pay my own school and I help my parents with the money that I earned. I help my sisters and my brothers from the money I get from the sewing. Sewing is an activity that I like so much because it has helped me.”
- Dieuma, Summits student.