It’s difficult to describe the recent trip to Haiti. It was heart-breaking. It was inspiring. It was humbling. More than anything, it was necessary. Necessary to meet the families we’re helping, to put ourselves in their shoes, if only for a moment, and to hear that what we’re offering is what they need.
It’s not easy to witness the level of poverty the families we’re serving find themselves living in, but it’s incredible to see the progress they are making through the guidance of our partners at Fonkoze. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re beyond excited to be working with Fonkoze. After seeing their work firsthand, it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine a better partner for us as we work to cultivate a sense of hope in the communities in which we work. All our time spent alongside Fonkoze was great, but perhaps no experience was more poignant to me than our visit with a CLM member living in the outskirts of Mirebalais.
Rose Berline’s current home. This small compound, comprised of two huts, is shared with her mother and father, two of her siblings, and her four children.
This particular family lives in a secluded area in the countryside, far removed from modern amenities like electricity and running water that we so often take for granted. For all they lack, though, this family is making it. Rose Berline, a single mother of four, explained that it was exceedingly difficult to make ends meet before being brought in as a member of Fonkoze. Now, about halfway through the CLM program, that’s starting to change. She has taken her initial grant of two goats and turned it into what feels like a small army of bearded four legged animals, using some for trade with other families in her community and the rest to provide meat, milk, and other essentials for her own family. She will soon be moving into a house of her own, with a tin roof provided by Fonkoze, just ahead of the rainy season. As she stands under the roof, the walls waiting to be built, her sense of pride is palpable. We ask if her children are in school and her face lights up as she responds, “Wi. Yo nan lekòl la” – yes, they are.
Rose Berline, standing beneath the awning of her soon-to-be home.
As I’ve reflected on this since returning, I’m continually amazed by the fortitude of Rose Berline and of women like her who are part of the CLM program. Despite the inherent difficulties in rising up from extreme poverty, these women have a stunning resolve to be successful and provide for their families. Once they’ve been given a small slice of hope, they cling to it with all they have. Failure, for them, is not an option.
Nope. Not letting these kids down.
Since arriving back in the country, we’ve been working tirelessly to prepare for our soft launch the second week of July and we’re working to secure new manufacturing processes for mass production in the near the future to accomodate demand. To those of you who have been patiently awaiting the arrival of your ESPEROS pre-orders, we cannot tell you how much we appreciate your understanding as kink after kink has popped up. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do and, well, we’re just going to say it: we love you. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your support.
(Originally posted 25 June 2012)