The 11/12/12 newsletter of the Sisters of Charity Foundation illustrates practical steps on the stairway to systemic change in Haiti.

Fonkoze began with one loan product. Intent on reaching and empowering the poorest of Haiti’s poor, Fonkoze was confident this loan product, which was delivered through community-based centers, was reaching the most underserved and marginalized members of Haitian Society.

However, Fonkoze learned that while their program was indeed reaching poor and vulnerable populations, there was actually a substantial segment of Haiti’s poor that they were not yet reaching.

From this revelation came a drive to figure out how to expand their services, to reach all of Haiti’s poor, no matter where they are, and accompany them on their journey out of poverty. The result was Fonkoze’s Staircase Our of Poverty.

Steps of the Staircase:

  • Business Development: Extends year-long individual loans to establish business men or women already in or looking to enter the formal economy.
  • Solidarity: The core lending program for women with at least some experience running a business and managing a loan.
  • Ti Kredi: Targets women who have successfully graduated from CLM or who are too vulnerable or inexperienced to go straight into the Solidarity Program.
  • Chemen Lavi Miyó (CLM): Designed to reach the poorest of the poor.

At each step on the Staircase Fonkoze provides their clients with a package of services — financial and non-financial — that are tailored to their unique business and skill development needs. Each year, Fonkoze collects new data on clients to understand their situations when they start the program and how their lives are changing over time. Fonkoze is able to confirm if they are placing participants in the right programs for their needs, as well as deepen their understanding of their unique situations, vulnerabilities, and the struggles they may face in making progress out of poverty.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation supports the ministries of the Sisters of Charity Cincinnati

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