Uniforms and microfinance in Haiti

Uniforms and microfinance in Haiti

Clermancia, or Tifanm, as she is known by her family and friends, owns land, a business and livestock. Her children got to school and have a bright future ahead of them. Concern’s use of microcredit in Haiti has made a real difference to their lives.

A few years ago

Tinfanm lived with her partner, Wilfride Dufrene, in a small house on land belonging to her father-in-law. She had five children, but one was murdered in 2007. Three of her children and her deceased son’s daughter lived with her.

“Stay with”

Tifanm was forced to send one of her children to work in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. These children are called “rest-avec”, meaning to “stay with” in French. They are sent to work as domestic labourers when their families cannot afford to keep them. Many parents believe they will have a better life but unfortunately this is not the case. 

School fees

Tifanm was unable to pay for her children’s schooling. An NGO paid half of the school fees for her, but she could not afford the remaining half.  She also certainly couldn’t afford the uniforms or shoes. The only money they had was from her husband’s small income working as a farmer. So in 2006 the family moved to Port-au-Prince in search of work.

Tragedy

Things were not easy for Tifanm and her family in the capital. Her son was murdered in 2007. She spent all her money on his funeral.

Microfinance in Haiti

Tinfanm decided to move back to the island of La Gonâve in 2007. It was then that she was  introduced to Concern’s Chemin Lavi Meyo Microfinance project. This project targeted 50 of the poorest women on the island.

Home improvements

Tifanm was able to pay off her loans and bought a horse and two donkeys. She also bought a piece of land worth more than 5,000 Haitian gourde, or €88, and plans to expand her home. As this area is one of the driest in Haiti, Tifanm is going to build a small reservoir where she will collect rainwater.

She managed to save some money and started a small business that continues to grow.

Tifanm has now graduated to “TI-KREDI”, the next level of micro-finance and has a business worth €211.  But more importantly her children are all attending school, in full uniform.

Our charity work

Concern has established a group called Women of Concern. It supports work like this, with girls and women in the world’s poorest countries. Read more.

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