The Association of Women in Action in Gros Morne speaks loud and bold standing in front of their merchant table. Not long ago, Agenise and 200 other women were struggling trying to make ends meet. But that did not stop them from creating a group that has become the most efficient advocate for children, getting them reduced school rates also addressing abuse and violence against them. Together they started to put pennies aside to create a fund that they call "solidarity fund". It is through the reinforcement of this fund that Lambi has supported and generated the following story which I will let Agenise, one of the members pictured, tell herself:
" Le nou pap travay te a, se pou nou fe ti komes pou nou pran swen fanmi nou. Se ti ed sa ki fe nou viv e okipe zafe kay nou.(When we are not tilling the land, it is the small enterprises that help take care of our families. It is this credit assistance that keeps our lives going and takes care of our households)
Today the organization has grown the fund from $573,000 gourdes to $1.1 million gourdes and has assisted 301 women to set up their small enterprises. They are proud wearing their blue AFAGM t shirtds, representing women who are independent, empowered to serve their communities and having a greater hope for their children in the future.
This year Lambi Fund made $2 million Haitian Gourdes available that benefitted over 300 women and their families. In addition, 210 women have benefitted from management, accounting and gender equity conferences and leadership training.
You have been a contributor in this process and we thank you for being a part of the changes that have improved our lives."
Community Credit Fund Makes a Difference in Rural Haiti
By Marie Marthe Saint Cyr | Executive Director
Mirlande is a young woman in her early thirties living in the Gonaives area. When I visited AFAGM, she was one of the members who received training on running a small business and she is a beneficiary of the credit project of AFAGM. Mirlande said she would not miss any of her meetings because it is a life source where her hopes are being realized, one step at the time. She had a small revenue producing activity selling used clothing, but she could not invest in a bale of clothing. She only had a few pieces at the time. With her new loan, she has purchased a bale of clothing that has her business advance multifold.
Mirlande is only one of 301 women who are now growing their businesses. AFAGM is in its sixth lending cycle with 92% on-time reimbursement from the first cycle that benefited from a $5,000.00 Gourdes (HTG) loan repaid at a 2% interest. The current cycle has 48 beneficiaries. Their small enterprises are broad and diversified in portfolio. The small businesses range from agricultural products or cooked food to cosmetic and energy products - like gas for cooking or oil for engines. The 48 beneficiaries of this cycle have reported the following types of revenue producing activities:
Type of activity %
Food consumption 62 Clothing 25 Beauty products 8 Energy related 4 Animal feed 1
Lambi Fund has 10 partners in rural Haiti managing small loans to planters and rural women helpting to create revenue to sustain themselves while providing a needed service and other basic necessities through their small businesses. These ten organizations are now managing $4,857,508.00 (HTG) and has assisted 1,538 small businesses in flourishing and enriching the families and communities where they are located.
AFAGM, Association of Women in Action of Gros Morne, is well deserving of its name for these women who are taking charge everyday and redefining their position in the community and in the scale of security and safety. They are active participants in the economy and olay an immense role in reducing poverty among their communities.
Organization of the Peasants of Boula Taking Charge!
By Marie Marthe Saint Cyr | Executive Director
Formed in 1975, the Organization of the Peasants of Boula (OPB) has a goal to improve the economic and social conditions of the members and the region. It began its agricultural activities with 50 members and now has a count of 248 (120 men and 128 women). In general, the region lacks potable water, roads for access, education and health care. The greatest problem the farmers encounter is timely tilling of the soil to benefit from the rainy season for planting and harvest for their income. For this reason, they proposed to develop an ox-plow service to facilitate their timely planting as well as increase the acreage used for agricultural production, thereby increasing income and revenue for all members and community dwellers.
The Lambi Fund, in partnership with OPB, will purchase 4 pairs of cows and 3 ox-plows. The organization is responsible for the feeding of the animals. They will develop grazing areas as well as produce feed reinforced with nutrients for the meager months and dry seasons. In addition, the membership will benefit from management, animal husbandry and nursery training that will take place throughout the 18 months of the implementation phase. The project will provide OPB with the means of financing and give technical assistance to assure sustainability of the service . A community credit fund is attached to the project to build the capacity of the planters to purchase the ox plow services at the initial stages. OPB will also produce 20,000 seedlings to plant in the area they serve.
The population of Boula was limited in their capacity to improve their income and revenue, labor and till more acreage and thus improve the conditions for planters and their families that make up over 65% of the work in the area. This initiative is an enterprise that will touch the lives and livelihood of planters and their peasant families in profound ways. It will increase access to goods and services such as school and health care that has to be paid for and it will increase production of food in a time when food security is a major concern throughout the country.
This began implementation in April of 2014 after a full year of investigation, organizational capacity building and training. We look forward to keeping you informed on one of the ways Lambi Fund, in partnership with rural Haiti, develops commuunity-run enterprises that makes a different in the life of the community.
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