Chemen Lavi Miyò
Fonkoze's Program for the Ultra-Poor
View a 2009 video produced by CGAP for the Clinton Global Initiative.
Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM), or the Path to a Better Life, reaches out to those on the margins of society. Throughout the 18-month program, case managers support members as they learn to run small businesses, repair their homes, and access health care and education services. Participants develop both their capacity and their confidence until they have their own functioning microenterprises.
In 2007-2008, Fonkoze piloted the CLM program for 150 families with the support of partners Concern Worldwide, CGAP, Plan International, BRAC, and Zanmi Lasante. In May 2009, Fonkoze began the scaling up process, starting with 120 new CLM families, and expanding to 350 families in 2010 with funding from Concern Worldwide and the Haitian Timoun Foundation. By the end of 2011, 386 CLM members had graduated to the Ti Kredi program, for an average graduation rate of 95%. As of 2012, CLM now includes 1300 families, thanks to funding from the MasterCard Foundation. The program aims to include 5,000 families to by 2015.
Fonkoze selects families who:
- Are headed by women with multiple children;
- Have no income-generating assets;
- Do not have any of their children in school;
- Do not have reliable access to food, and are often hungry, and;
- Do not have access to healthcare or do not know how to access it.
Member families are selected through a careful process called Participatory Wealth Ranking. Fonkoze relies on members of the local community to identify the poorest people in the area. Fonkoze then visits the homes of potential members, in order to verify their eligibility for participation. This participatory process ensures that Fonkoze targets only the ultra-poor who are not eligible for our microfinance program.
CLM is an asset-based program that provides all members with the following assets and services:
- The assets necessary to establish two of three income-generating activities: goats, chickens, merchandise to sell;
- Materials to construct: a 9x9 meter home with a sturdy roof and floor, and a latrine;
- A small, short-term cash stipend that allows the member to stop begging and start caring for their new assets;
- A water filter;
- Free healthcare with training on how to use it;
- Weekly visits from their Fonkoze case manager to constantly reinforce training and track progress;
- Confidence-building, enterprise management, and life skills training.
At the completion of eighteen months (the duration of the program), Fonkoze evaluated each of the 150 families for their readiness for graduation. Members could not graduate out of the program if they had a malnourished child, were too sick to work, or had a shoddy roof. Additionally, members were evaluated according to the following criteria:
- The member’s family is “food secure”;
- The member has two income-generating activities;
- The member has an active savings account;
- The value of her productive assets is $150 USD
- The member has confidence and a plan for her future
Ninety-five percent of program participants met the above criteria and graduated out of CLM. Of these, 75% took their first small loan (about $25) through Fonkoze’s Ti Kredi program immediately after graduating, and others continue to join. Additionally, 99% of CLM members report that they have confidence to provide for their families, and that they have made progress on their pathway out of poverty. Fonkoze endeavors to bring this confidence to many more ultra-poor families in Haiti.