Monday, February 01, 2016

Snacks from a Wheelbarrow: Training Turns Fabienne's Despair to Hope

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Where there is great despair there is also God’s Spirit, ready to inspire and bring Hope and help.

One person who knows great despair is Fabienne, a wife and mother struggling to raise her five children in Haut Limbe, Haiti. Without an education or job training, her husband struggled to find regular work. When money ran out, their children were unable to continue in school. Physical signs of malnutrition began to emerge.

The family spiraled downward toward abject poverty. Hopelessness set in. But then Fabienne was introduced to a women’s microenterprise group through her local church.

After completing an eye-opening small business training, Fabienne received a small loan to start her own shop on the street in front of their house, selling snacks from a wheelbarrow. She made money! As her business grew, she expanded to sell school supplies, beauty products, and cold drinks.

Fabienne received training from her church in Haut Limbe, Haiti

From desperation to Hope… Fabienne’s growing business has now changed the economic future of her entire family.

Fabienne’s struggle to care for her family is common in northern Haiti. Recent droughts have turned precious farmland into hot, barren ground, and the poor scrabble to make ends meet with an average annual income of less than $500 per person. In this environment, small businesses like Fabienne’s can make all the difference in a family’s survival. But many women lack the know-how to get started, let alone the resources.

We are excited to share that Bright Hope’s church partners in the towns of Ferrier, Phaeton, and Paulette, Haiti have a new plan to train women to create small businesses to generate income for their families. Pastor LaFosse in Phaeton says, “Our vision is that one day the people of this abandoned zone will take responsibility for their lives, and we plan to help them change their mentality in order to do so.”

The plan is simple: 3 Haitian churches will train and empower 30 women leaders over the next 12 months.

For the first six months, these women will be thoroughly trained in how to lead Women’s Empowerment groups and how to choose and manage small businesses. Equipped with spiritual, social, and economic knowledge, these trained leaders will then pass on what they’ve learned, mentoring hundreds of women in their churches. Then these women, empowered with the knowledge and resources to run small businesses, can generate income to meet their families’ needs and help others do the same. The impact grows exponentially.

It has been three years since Fabienne began her street-side business through the training she received from Bright Hope. Thanks to our allies, she is providing for her own family and contributing to the well being of other families in her community. She is now a trainer herself, working to empower 4 groups of 20 women each.

The cost to launch this Women’s Empowerment training program in these three Haitian communities is $20,000 for the year. Would you like to empower more women like Fabienne? Give today—your one-time or monthly gift of any amount will impact the financial futures of Haitian families through their local churches. 

Hope in Haiti