Malibu local Natalie Soloway has been traveling to Haiti and bringing back Zanmi dolls made from t-shirts by local women to sell in the U.S. to raise funds for the Haitian women. Recently, a group of Malibu High School students led by English teacher Jennifer Gonzalez pitched in to the effort by hosting a t-shirt drive.
After traveling to Haiti during the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Soloway was inspired to help the people affected by the disaster. She began traveling back to Haiti with t-shirts collected at home and helping the local women make dolls. The Malibu resident then returns home to sell the dolls and send the proceeds back to Haiti. Now, thanks to the MHS Zanmi Dolls Club and other volunteers, the charitable project is growing.
Zanmi dolls are a handcrafted folk art made by residents of the central plateau of Haiti. Proceeds from sales of the dolls benefit the women who craft them, as well as Project Medishare, a healthcare and infrastructure-building organization.