“Thanks to CLM, I know how to fight.”

by | Mar 22, 2014 | Poverty: Analysis and Responses, Spirituality and Spiritual Practice, Systemic change | 1 comment

Haiti-vincentCLM is part of a systemic change project in the Vincentian Family. Former Superior General Robert Maloney describes a Haitian Initiative “Pathway to a Better Life”  in an earlier famvin post.

The following piece from Fonkose describes the reaction of a graduate.

“Thanks to CLM, I know how to fight.”

— CLM Graduate Odette Simon
The CLM program enabled her to purchase a horse to carry her merchandise to the market.

Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM), or “the pathway to a better life,” empowers Haiti’s poorest women to pull themselves and their families from ultra poverty into self-sufficiency, with hope and vision for their futures.

Incoming CLM members live on the very margins of rural society in some of the most extreme poverty in Haiti. They live on less than $1 per day, have multiple children, no assets, no healthcare, and suffer from persistent hunger, with no reliable access to food.

Fonkoze recognizes that women in such extreme poverty need intensive support and guidance to get a foothold on that first Step on Fonkoze’s Staircase Out of Poverty.

Based on BRAC’s Graduation model, Fonkoze’s CLM program uses specially trained case managers to work with CLM members throughout an intensive 18-month process to help them build the confidence and skills necessary to create a better life for themselves and their families.

To begin, CLM provides each member with the materials to construct a 9×9 meter home with a sturdy roof, a stable floor, and a latrine; a water filter; and her choice of two activities to begin earning an income, including raising various types of livestock or merchandise to sell.


A CLM member with her home, before and after home repair.

Each member also receives a small cash stipend while her fledgling business grows and free healthcare in partnership with Zanmi Lasante, Partners in Health’s Haitian sister organization.

But the CLM case managers remain at the heart of the program. Case managers make weekly visits to every member, which often requires overnight stays and hours-long hikes to reach women in Haiti’s most remote locations.

During their visits, CLM case managers provide each member with confidence-building, enterprise management, and life skills training. They also help each woman to successfully navigate the unique challenges she encounters throughout the process and to build a plan for her future as she moves forward. In turn, the women provide the hard work, determination and resilience to succeed.

96% of CLM members successfully complete the program and transform their lives.

To date, Fonkoze has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with 2,550 women and their families in Haiti’s Central Plateau to help them graduate from ultra poverty. With the resources and encouragement to get a foothold on the first Step of Fonkoze’s Staircase, Haiti’s poorest women have demonstrated their dedication to lifting themselves and their families from poverty. 75% of them not only complete the CLM program, but continue onto Fonkoze’s second Step: Ti Kredi.

– See more at: https://fonkoze.org/clm


1 Comment

  1. Beth

    For more information on this and other Vincentian Family projects in Haiti, check out VFHI.org (the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative)

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