Since 1994, Carinne Cadet has owned a small but profitable clothing business, buying used clothes from Malpasse, a Haitian-Dominican border town, and then selling them in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This business, that she worked for years to build and grow, came to a halt when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010. In an instant, her life changed. She lost everything in the earthquake, and one of her sons was seriously injured. Seeking medical care, she had to travel across the border to Jimani in the Dominican Republic.
Thanks to a micro-loan she received through Fonkoze’s Solidarity program, Carinne was able to restart her clothing business in 2015. Every Wednesday and Saturday, she travels to the local market to sell new and used clothing. Her tenacity, leadership skills and management style even earned her the peer-elected position of Center Chief among other Fonkoze lending clients in her Solidarity Center.
When introduced to Fonkoze’s social enterprise health program Boutik Sante, Carinne did not hesitate to join. Selling over-the-counter health products and providing health services such as malnutrition screenings to her community brings her joy. “Assisting the people of the village is second nature to me,” she explains. Carinne operates her boutik sante (community health store) from her home which allows her the flexibility to run her clothing business on the side. Proud of the accomplishments she has made thus far, she reflects, “Before I joined, I was curious about Fonkoze. I attended a [Solidarity] meeting because a friend invited me…and now I am the head of the Center,” she smiles.
Since receiving her first loan from Fonkoze, things have progressively gotten better for Carinne and her family. She is now trying to help the women in her community start their own businesses so that they, too, can have an opportunity to prosper with dignity.