At YourStory international we have an innovative formula that we believe will revolutionize the way that the world views "international aid" -> our approach is simple - in order for "aid" to be truly effective it must be community based and must address needs that members of the community identify as the most critical. We don't "give" money to poor people, we strategize with local citizens to identify the roots of their poverty and come up with a plan of how to get them and their families out!
At YourStory international we select women/families in Morel, Haiti making less than $2 a day and work with them to make a business plan. We then give them grants to start/expand a small business (these are not loans- we are strictly anti micro-finance), our volunteers work with them every step of the way learning about their lives and helping to design the best possible business strategy.
For most women in our target income bracket (less than $2 a day), paying to put their children in school and to feed them properly often is not an option. We alleviate this stress by funding their children's education and healthcare while they start their business. We then sit down with the family and agree on a contract, if they meet our agreed-upon conditions we continue to support them and help expand their businesses, each grant is designed to ensure that the recipient is able to function without assistance within 2 years. Most frequently, continued assistance is based on their children's school attendance.
The system works! ->Rose Carmelle was selected by YourStory directors because of her work ethic and her need. Rose Carmelle spent 6 days a week walking door-to-door selling Milk in her community and made about $100 profit per year, she would typically walk over 5 miles a day trying to sell her milk.
~ Rose Carmelle sells her milk to a local woman~
~Rose Carmelle would walk up to 5+ miles to make an average of 3 sales per day~
Our staff spent two weeks living and working with Rose Carmelle, and we agreed to give her a grant of about $100 to start a small store.
~ Rose Carmelle barters with sellers at the "big market" in Petit Goave as she buys goods for her new store!~
With the help of YourStory International Rose Carmelle started her small business! According to our fieldwork, she was able to triple her daily income in less than a week! In addition to this, Rose Carmelle's neighbors used to have to walk up to a mile to the nearest store to buy their goods, now they can shop at her store for their daily needs! Your donations will help us to continue to upgrade Rose Carmelle's business so she can be closer to economic independence, and to help many other women like her!
~ Our executive directors J.P. Beaudet and Kevin Lombardi with Rose Carmelle at her new place of business in front of her home~
~All of the children in this picture had never been to school before YourStory International gave their mothers grants!~
When we first met Rose Carmelle all of her three children (aged 13, 6 and 2) had never been to school before and were severely malnourished. In order to help them escape the cycle of poverty, we paid for all of them to go to school ($80 per year for each child), for their medical care and will give them a supplemental food stipend as Rose Carmelle builds her business.
All of the money you donate will go to help women like Rose Carmelle gain control of their lives - and to build a better, healthier future for themselves and their families!!
YourStory International Currently has three active cases like Rose Carmelle, but we need your help to expand our program!!
The Community we serve:
Our current focus is the village of Morel in Leogane Haiti, nestled in the cane fields between the Caribbean and the mountains of Haiti, Morel is, by our estimation among the poorest communities (in income) in the world. Most of the villages residents, including one of our directors, Marie-Flore Lombardi, can trace their roots to the slaves that once worked in the very fields where they now live. Survey data collected by our researchers this May indicated that the average working family in Morel has an income of just less than $220 per year, and only 38% of children in the village attend school.
~ Manlnutrition in children is an extremely common and serious serious issue in Morel~
We have literally dozens of women and families pre-selected that would like to start small businesses! Your donations will help us make thier dreams a reality! In our community just a couple of hundred dollars can literally change an entire life completely!
All donations of $100 or more will receive photo documentation of exactly what their money was spent on after the completion of the project and an in-depth narrative and analysis of the person they helped to empower!
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