The LETS Model
In 2014, wellness speaker and educator Kristin Van Wey began her service work in Haiti, focusing on improving health conditions for the local population through education and essential oils.
Early on, Kristin became aware of some serious risks to the youth in the community at large. She noticed a significantly higher than expected number of orphanages and also discovered that four out of every five “orphans” actually had at least one living parent. Kristin also observed a correlation between this orphan anomaly and sex and human trafficking; she wondered if there could be a common solution. The big question in her mind was: Where were all these orphaned and trafficked children coming from?
Kristin knew it was imperative to work with preventative core issues that were devastating the entire country and not just the symptoms. She was inspired to address what she believed were primary solutions, affecting the heart of poverty and trafficking directly.
The truth is that this situation isn’t unique to Haiti. Unplanned and unwanted children born into poverty and crisis in both developed and developing countries are equally at risk of abuse.
Upon investigation, Kristin discovered the higher incidence of orphan children could be attributed to a combination of poverty, lack of reproductive education, and job scarcity. Many of the Haitian women, both single and married, didn’t want to conceive, but they were simply unaware of how to manage their fertility. Children were being born to teens or families with no means to provide for them, putting them at great risk for starvation, sex trafficking, being sold, given away or orphaned.
In 2016, Kristin’s vision resulted in a comprehensive and duplicable pilot project, which centered on self-reliance rather than the short-term effects of handouts.
In addition to creating local jobs, generating resources for food, shelter and health care so that children and families could live self-reliant, dignified lives, it was, and continues to be a hands-on learning program teaching fertility and wellness.
One important aspect to the success of the training is the Lunar Essential Tracker (“LETS”) Bracelet, which helps girls and women of childbearing age conceptualize and track their most fertile days and share this journey with their partner. The bracelet materials are manufactured by hand, employing artisans in LETS manufacturing centres in communities in developing countries.
Over these first couple of years we have been perfecting our implementation, but have already seen amazing results. Thousands of LETS bracelets have been distributed with comprehensive family planning and health education, hundreds of children not previously being educated are now in school, dozens of Haitians have been employed, and perhaps most importantly, dozens of Restaveks (trafficked children) have returned home. And, excitement is growing.
LETS is not content with this life changing program changing the lives of people in just one community or country. We want to change the world, community by community, life by life.
We’ve packaged the education program in our train-the-trainer instructor course so that more people can feel confident educating others. We have expanded the manufacturing model into other communities. Our bracelets are changing the lives of women, men and children all over the globe, from a girl in America to a woman in Kenya to a family in Uganda. We want you to join us in this cause, buy our bracelets, join our instructor program and donate and partner with us. You will not only empower individuals and communities but will be empowering yourself.