Mache Kabrit, Haiti is a desolate place. It is located on the southern coast near the town of Côte-de-Fer, a remote place itself that has gotten some notoriety recently because it is the home of the current president of Haiti. All you see around Mache Kabrit is barren land. The ocean is beautiful but there is no source of fresh water. There was no resident community leader until Eventuel relocated there a little over a year ago. His presence in the community has brought a spark of hope to the residents.
The Pathway to a Better Life project, which was formally introduced a little over three months ago, has really touched a chord in the community with both the current participants and those who would like to be included in the program. This program is unique in that it works with those who have lived in abject poverty and for whom traditional development programs have not been successful. One of the participants in the program is a woman named Gernicia Jean. Looking at her, you would think she was nearing a hundred when she is only fifty years old. She has known poverty all her life. She has given birth to five children who are not in any better situation than she is. The prospect of finding a pathway to a better life has sparked a glimmer of hope in her. She is actually the talk of the community. Most people had given up on her, but now the first steps toward improvement are taking place. She now has a latrine as a first step forward. Those with a little bit of means do not generally invest in such a hygienic addition. She has been receiving some funds for food and will soon begin training on how to start a small business. The community relies on unreliable sources of water, so every participant in the program has received a five-gallon bucket with a filtration system.
Over the next couple of months Gernicia Jean and the rest of the participants in this program will launch their small businesses This second phase should be of great benefit not only to the participants, but also to the entire community. Their homes will get a makeover through some of the income they generate in their business and some assistance from the program.
The Hope for All community organization in Belo, Cameroon, has been empowering women in small groups through chicken-raising in a CWR-funded project called Pass on the Gift. Two of the newly hatched chicks must be passed on to other women as they start new small groups.
The Hope for All leaders decided to expand the program to include goats and sheep. However, they soon discovered that in one area of Belo it is considered a cultural taboo for women to raise goats and sheep. Pastor Daniel, the leader of Hope for All, met with the husbands of two women who had expressed a desire to raise sheep and goats. Those husbands eventually gave their permission and with a small beginning the taboo is now gradually being overcome.
At present there is a cluster of women who are raising goats and sheep and will be passing on the firstborn to other women.
From the recent CWR newsletter.
Covenant World Relief provided funding to start a new tailoring business in Kenya that has three full time employees. Your gifts provided the start-up funding for this business that empowers at-risk and marginalized men and women in a violence-prone community in Kenya. Each of the employees do everything from designing and weaving to tailoring. They produce quality clothing to satisfy their growing demand. The partnership with Covenant World Relief has allowed them to start a retail consumer goods shop which inspires entrepreneurs. This opportunity has raised the living standards of the people employed by it.
“Deanna” is an older woman, married to a man with several younger wives. Her husband cast her aside, and she was left to live on the street. She found CWR partner HOLD, and became a Culinary Arts student. When she graduated, she got a job at a restaurant – but the owner forced her to quit when she refused his sexual advances.
Because of HOLD’s support network, she was able to obtain a loan that kept her from becoming homeless a second time. In fact, she used that loan to start a catering business of her own! She is also learning to read and write through HOLD’s Literacy Program.
Deena with another peer educator serving in the community engaging young men about sexuality, responsibility, and leadership in their own community
This experience was so powerful, and her life was so transformed that she became a peer educator at HOLD. Now she sells her cakes and specialty food – and in her spare time, she teaches others about health, hope, and how they can have better lives. She has all of this because she is connected to a community through HOLD, which she now calls her family.