Solidarity group of microfinance borrowers

Myrtha Desvarieux

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Starting Small and Building Up

Ti Kredi clientMyrtha lives in Flon, a rural town outside of Leyogàn. Her house collapsed in the 2010 earthquake, causing her to lose all the merchandise she had been selling from her home.

Unable to make ends meet, Myrtha says that Fonkoze came into her life at the right time.

“After the earthquake, I wasn’t doing anything, but Fonkoze taught me how to live again.”

Myrtha is the sole breadwinner in her family, as her husband cannot find work. Three years after the earthquake, they continue to live in a tent city with their two children. Myrtha says that living in the tent city has been difficult, especially during the rainy season.

Myrtha is making progress in her life, however. She recently graduated from Ti Kredi (“Little Credit”), Fonkoze’s six-month lending program for financially vulnerable women.

Ti Kredi starts with a loan of just $25 and increases in size with subsequent loans, in order to enable members to build up their assets and become accustomed to taking loans.

“Fonkoze taught me how to make a small amount of money multiply,” Myrtha says.

Her credit has since increased steadily to $70. She uses the loans from Fonkoze to fund a business selling fried foods and hot plates in her neighborhood.

Myrtha is determined to set her children up for success. “I make a living selling rice. I don’t want my kids to do the same. I would love for them to become an engineer or a doctor.”

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