Jésumène Mathurin and Camille
Ouline share more than just
matching whiteshirts for their
graduation day —they’re mother
and daughter. Jésumène, age
48, explains that she
encouraged 28-year old
Camille, the third of her seven
children, to join the Ti Kredi
program so that Camille,
too, could reap its benefits.
“Fonkoze supports me to go to from Mibalè to Potoprens to buy and sell tobacco,”
Jésumène says. “My profits allow me to pay for school for my youngest daughter” (her only
child still in school).
Camille sells corn and other alimentary products, working to support her own
two children. She says she plans to continue with Solidarity lending after she
graduates so that she can grow her business.
Jésumène also plans to continue with Solidarity lending. “I need more money to do more
business,” she explains matter-of-factly. Jésumène’s peers elected her center chief,
meaning that she is responsible for acting as a leader for her center members and
ensuring that their loans are paid on time. She is proud of her responsibility, explaining that
she leads six groups of five women, making her center chief for 35 women in all.
For those who don’t know Fonkoze, Jésumène says, she encourages them to vini, vini, vini
—“come, come, come.”
To all those who have acted on that invitation and who are now graduating, Camille sings a
joyful song of welcome. As the rest of her fellow graduates assemble before the stage, she
conveys the hope that she, Jésumène, and the rest of the women before her have for their
lives moving forward.
It is a proud day—and, we hope, one of many to vini.