One project Martha and I are currently working on is creating a booklet highlighting World Concern’s work in Haiti over the past 30 plus years. This means doing some serious digging through old reports and files looking for important dates, photos and milestones in our organizations history in Haiti. It is tedious work but definitely has its benefits. One such benefit is finding fascinating details about projects we implemented 5, 10 and 20 years ago. While looking through a report today from December 1998 through May 1999, I found the story of a woman named Mrs. Joseph Duclehomme. This woman was part of World Concern’s microcredit program and shared about her experience.
Her story read like this:
“My name is Mrs. Joseph Duclehomme. I have three children and I am a member of the village bank ‘Bank Tet Ansanm’ (Head Together). This is my first loan in the association. I borrowed 1,500 gourdes ($100) from World Concern Haiti for six months. My principal activities are buying basic food from a market and selling it to another local market. After each market trip, I make a little profit and save some money to pay my loan. I have already reimbursed five months capital and interest. Next month I will pay my last installment. Thanks to this loan, I can now pay for tuition for my children. Before the loan, I paid about 50 – 100 gourdes a month for a tithe for my church. Since I got the loan, I now pay around 100 – 150 gourdes a month. I love my church because this is the place where I meet God every week. I hope to see World Concern supporting more women in this locality because there are so many needs.”
And this is just one of many stories I have stumbled upon so far while doing research.
Beginning in 1989, World Concern Haiti began offering small loans to low income small business owners. This program continues to this day and currently provides services to over 5,000 clients across the country. Many merchants in Haiti are women. In Haiti women are the backbone of the economy. Therefore supporting them in their income generating activities is very important to ensuring that families in Haiti are able to meet their basic needs.
It is encouraging to see how World Concern has been impacting people in Haiti for quite some time, and especially women through microcredit.