Empowering Mothers in Haiti

While the worsening humanitarian crisis in Port-au-Prince is now being described by the United Nations as “cataclysmic,” life goes on in the rest of the country. You can’t characterize rural Haiti as normal because the population is coping with inflation, periodic fuel shortages, difficulty getting supplies, and even the limited functioning of banks (because their central operations in the capital are under siege)… but farmers and their families go about their daily business.

In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday (although it is celebrated in Haiti on the last Sunday of May), we are highlighting one farmer and mother in particular. Jacqueline Faustin is 53 years old, has six children, and she and her husband farm together near Gonaives. They are both longtime members of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA).

Jacqueline is one of hundreds of SFA women farmers throughout the country who are empowered by microcredit loans. “I am a trader and a farmer,” she explains, “and with the SFA loans I am able to buy food products to resell in the public market.” In this regard Jacqueline is typical of many SFA loan recipients (exclusively women farmers) who use this financial tool to supplement their farm income.

“With the profits I make in the market I am able to pay for all my children to go to school,” she notes. This is particularly important in a country where more than 90% of education is private and many families can’t afford to have all their children in school.

When interviewed earlier this week, Jacqueline concluded by saying, “I hope this SFA loan program will be able to help my neighbors get rid of poverty like it has done for me and my family.” And you can help make that vision come true by donating to support the work of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance during these difficult times.


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