In celebration of Women’s History Month, six women shared stories with us that illustrate how the IAF’s small investments have changed their lives.
These women belong to three organizations in the South-East department of Haiti funded by the Inter-American Foundation. Each organization has its own mission and approach to promoting development, but all use Mutual Solidarity Funds to provide women with access to credit. A Mutual Solidarity Fund is a savings-and-loan association in which community members pool their savings to provide capital for members’ activities. Seventy-one percent of IAF-supported projects in Haiti use these associations to increase economic opportunities for women.
- Organisation des Paysans de Labiche (OPLA) promotes sustainable agriculture and livestock production.
- Fondasyon Limyè Lavi (FLL) helps women raise livestock to generate enough income that they can avoid sending their children into domestic slavery, something many poor Haitian families believe is their only option.
- Fanm Deside addresses gender-based violence by providing vulnerable women access to income and helping them secure shelter, food, and education for their children.
These stories start with grassroots organizations injecting some key material goods into women’s lives, such as a community well, goats to start a herd, or a micro-loan. A common thread across the women’s stories is that intangible gains often accompany the tangible benefits: women becoming economic leaders, taking pride in their communities, families feeling hope for the future as they grow their livelihoods…