75 energetic and self-starting women of Chermaitre have come together to form a co-operative to provide a space of solidarity, develop their business-related skills, and better their livelihoods.
The newly-formed women’s initiative grew out of focus group discussions held with the women of Chermaitre during March 2012 and 2013. There, they shared their life stories of economic and personal struggles, and how they raised their families with incredible strength.
Planned projects include setting up a co-operative structure led and organized by the women where they have opportunities to learn business-related skills in order to supplement their income, a designated community space as well as the materials to conduct basic women’s outreach and basic literacy lessons.
Join in partnership with Femmes Chermaitre!
The women of Chermaitre, Haiti, many of whom have experienced significant personal and economic hardships, came together in late 2013 in order to collectively improve their livelihoods. They strongly believe in the power of women working together, and have an incredible network of solidarity.
Growing the Co-operative
Since their formation, they have been making coffee, producing peanut butter and jams, as well as fabrics, handcrafts and jewelry for sale in regional and U.S. markets. This year, VHP successfully began selling their richly aromatic organic coffee, hand-sewn napkins and artfully beaded earrings at our Haitian art and handcraft sales. We are very heartened by the results so far. They have asked us for our support in kickstarting their operations and purchasing more supplies and equipment so that Femmes Chermaitre can get up and running on a larger scale!
"Women are everything"
The full impact of a successful women’s co-operative is immeasurably large and interconnected with all aspects of life in Chermaitre. We are certain that their growth will reverberate through the entire community: they will be able to afford and grow more food for their families, send their children to school, and realize their goals of sustainable, thriving livelihoods. As Toussaint Vina (secretary of the co-operative) reminds us in this video: “Women are everything.”
Watch our recent crowdfunding campaign video: