Seven years ago, before Saincia met the case manager who would guide her through Fonkoze’s Chemen Lavi Miyò (Pathway to a Better Life), Saincia was living in desperate poverty.
“When it rained, I used to wrap my baby in a plastic bag,” says Saincia. “I slept where I could with my children—sometimes under a tree.”
With four small children at home and a husband seeking work in the Dominican Republic, Saincia’s future was looking bleak. But once accepted into the program, Saincia’s opportunities and her outlook started to improve. With the help of Fonkoze she was able to build a small house, construct a latrine, and start a small business selling cornmeal and millet in her local market. She, along with her children, became members of the Partners in Health Hospital in Mibalè so that poor health would not be a deterrent to her success.
Saincia’s work ethic was strong, right from the start, “I don’t need charity; I need to work!” And that is just what she did. Her livestock multiplied, and her business took off. After an initial loan of just $25, she gradually began to take out larger loans, and now, she is borrowing over $1,500. “I borrow only amounts that I will feel comfortable returning without a headache,” she says. She and her husband started a sugarcane processing business which she supports with loans from Fonkoze. They are even able to employ other members of their community.
Now she and her husband are able to put ample food on the table every day, unlike before, when Saincia and her children might go a day or two without eating anything at all.