I Came, I Saw and I Empowered – and I Can’t Stop!
by CHES Inc
By Marcia Rosemé,
This week marks one month of working in Haiti with CHES Inc, as the US Liaison and Content Designer and I must admit that I am having a blast! I have made wonderful new friends and experienced unbelievable hospitality. Not only am I have fun, but I am also helping CHES partner with the Laborde community to help them start-up their new poultry farm.
In day-to-day, interactions I am often asked, “What brings you to Haiti?” My answer to that question is two tiered; firstly, I am here supporting Vaness, our Haiti Operations Director. Among the activities I assist with include the coordination of our support of the Laborde community’s poultry farm. I am also the designer of all visual content our organization posts online. The second reason is a bit more personal. I am an artist at heart. I earned a degree in fashion from MassArt in Boston. My vision as a designer is to run a clothing brand that is manufactured and developed in Haiti.
In the past month, Vanessa and I have gained a bit of ground in our work here. We have met with local business owners and organizations advocating for support for entrepreneurs in Haiti. In addition to strengthening our relationships, we are also tasked with planning and preparing the support of the Laborde’s poultry farm start-up. Perhaps the most exciting experience has been our road trip to the beautiful countryside of Laborde, close to Cayes/Okay in Haiti’s southern tip. There, we meet with over 30 of the 50 anticipated entrepreneurs who will be trained and funded by CHES to start their poultry farm. They were all incredibly eager and open to learning and excited about rebuilding their livelihood. After introductions and overviewing how CHES was prepared to support them, we started to see gears turning in their heads. The business suddenly became real for them! Questions and ideas flew left and right, it got to the point they were working together to answering each other’s questions and Vanessa and I were silent. It was the this “real moment” for them and us. As an organization, we are responsible equip and empower these entrepreneurs for success.
As a diaspora, everyday I am becoming more grounded in this land, culture and heritage. Yes, Haiti has great challenges but it has charm and allure. Its charm is powerful enough to draw many nations to come and buy (or sometime take) a piece of it. There is no lack of beauty, talent or ideas… but a lack of investment in those with the talent and ideas ready to cultivate change. Temporary and dependent aid is not what Haiti needs but serious leaders who are willing to make longer-term investments in education, business, and health. Support the Larborde farmers today!
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