The coastal town of Leyogàn, about 30 minutes south of Hait’s capital, Port-au-Prince, was the epicenter of the January 2010 earthquake. It’s estimated that 23,000 people in the area died, with 89% of all structures suffering damage; all government buildings were destroyed. Among those affected was Kérene Theleus. The earthquake caused her house to collapse completely, though no one was hurt. The Red Cross gave her a temporary house, in which she and her three children still live, next to the concrete rubble of her old one. Kérene struggled to get back on sound footing. She received a boost however when she heard about Fonkoze’s Ti Kredi program through her women’s group. Ti Kredi gradually introduces poor entrepreneurial women to borrowing, starting with a loan of $25. At the end of six months, each client will have paid off three loans equal to $125; most clients then move into Fonkoze’s Solidarity program, where they will start out with a $75 loan. Eager to expand her small business selling produce, rice, beans and cooking oil, she got in contact with Samuel, the credit agent for Leyogàn, and started Ti Kredi in February. “I joined Fonkoze because I wanted the help that Fonkoze could provide me and I knew that I could help Fonkoze too,” she says. “Having your own money to help grow your business is good, but adding money from other sources such as Fonkoze is even better.” Ti Kredi also complements its loans with business and environmental education and literacy training. Kérene learned the importance of wearing clean clothes to market and cleaning up after herself after a day of selling. Though she already knew how to write, her writing skills have improved thanks to Ti Kredi. Kérene has indeed helped Fonkoze by being an outstanding client, graduating in July along with 49 other entrepreneurs. She will start the Solidarity program shortly, and will continue working towards improving her housing situation: “My goal is to have a bigger and better place to live in the future,” she says.