More than half of the people in Haiti struggle to survive on $1 a day, and the country is just months removed from deadly food riots. Yet, the women of FINCA’s Village Banking group Famn Vayant (“Valiant Women” in Creole) are on the road to self-sufficiency. They are able to feed their children, start lifting their families out of poverty, and some can even save a little for the future.
The Famn Vayant group meets in a church in the village of Massé, on the southwestern coast of Haiti. It began with 20 members, but its numbers swelled to 32 in the second cycle of loans.
Gaspa Garidad is one the Famn Vayant Village Banking Group members. She learned to bake bread in her Haitian village as a girl, but she never imagined that one day she would use this simple skill to support herself and her six children. After rising early each morning to bake, she carries a basket-full of her bread on her head, selling loaves as she walks along the road and in the marketplace.
When Gaspa first started selling her bread, she barely made enough in one day to purchase flour, oil, and yeast to prepare another batch of dough for the next day, and could not afford the school fees for her children.
But when she heard about the FINCA Village Banking group Famn Vayant (“Valiant Women” in Creole), everything changed. She joined the group and used the proceeds of her first loan to buy flour and other supplies in bulk, increasing her profit.
Gaspa now manages a $140 FINCA loan. She bakes and sells bread wholesale from her house. She can afford to pay for her children’s school fees, and is confident that they will have a better life tomorrow thanks to their education. In a country where the majority attempt to survive on less than $1 a day, Gaspa is setting aside $6 per week in savings for her family’s future. Gaspa looks forward to even larger loans from FINCA to help her continue expanding her business and her income.