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Ti Kredi Clients Graduate


Fonkoze’s Solid Women Video Wins Award


Staff Profile: Dr. Wesly Elize


Donor Profile: the Late Dr. Fred Clark




Spring 2012

DC-area ti machann hawk their wares.

Solidarity Across Borders Partners outside Haiti work hard raising awareness and funds for Fonkoze


onkoze is a Haitian institution. Haitians rebuilding their own country for themselves — we know it is possible and preferred. But, Fonkoze staff and clients depend on partners outside Haiti to accompany them in this difficult journey. In order to maintain low fundraising costs, Fonkoze depends on its “Ambassadors,” local groups inspired and organized

all over the U.S., Canada and other countries to spread the word about Fonkoze and to raise the funds necessary to ensure Fonkoze clients have the programs and services they need to succeed. Ambassadors can be found in communities such as Santa Barbara, Richmond, Philadelphia, Bucks County, New York, Jacksonville, and Chapel Hill. CONTINued on page 4

Fonkoze Branch Offices

Father Joseph’s Letter

Tout zanmi Fonkoze yo, kòman nou ye ? Tout peyi d’Ayiti konte sou nou. Travay la anpil, men manke ouvriye. Nou gen espwa, genyen k ap vini. Dear Friends of Fonkoze: I’ve been accused of having a questionable singing voice, but like most Haitians, I love to sing! At every Fonkoze Family gathering, we sing the song above which translates, “Friends of Fonkoze, how are you? All of Haiti is counting on you. There is much work to do, and not enough workers. We hope you are coming.” We have been singing this song for 18 years, and for 18 years you have been by our side. Through floods and earthquakes, political instability and insecurity. Because you have accompanied us through thick and thin, Fonkoze has been able to do the same for the people of Haiti. Thank you!

Creole / French

Mibalè / Mirebalais


Milo / Milot

Ansapit / Anse-à-Pitre

Miragwàn / Miragôane

Beladè / Belladère

Montòganize / Mont Organisé

Bizoton / Bizoton

Okap / Cap-Haïtien

Bomon / Beaumont

Okay / Les Cayes

Boukànkare / Boucan Carré

Okoto / Les Coteaux

Ench / Hinche

Piyon / Pignon

Fòlibète / Fort Liberté

Pòdpè / Port-de-Paix

Fondeblan / Fond-des-Blancs

Pòmago / Port Margot

Fondwa / Fond-Oies

Ponsonde / Pont Sondé

Fonvèret / Fond Verrettes

Pòtoprens / Port-au-Prince

Gantye / Ganthier

San Rafayèl/Saint-Raphaël

Gonayiv / Gonaïves

Sen Michèl / St. Michel de Lattalaye

Gwomòn / Gros Morne Jakmèl / Jacmel Janrabèl / Jean Rabel Jeremi / Jeremié

Sodo / Saut d’Eau Tirivyè d’Artibonit / Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite

Kabarè / Cabaret

Tirivyè d’Nip / Petite Rivière de Nippes

Lagonav / La Gônave

Tomonn / Thomonde

Latwazon / La Toison

Twen / Trouin

Lavale / La Vallée

Twoudinò / Trou-du-Nord

Lenbe / Limbé

Tyòt / Thiotte

Leyogàn / Léogane

Wanament / Ouanaminthe

Marigo / Marigot

But as the song says, there is much work to do. Knowing you are with us every step of the way gives us the strength to continue and move forward with hope into the next 18 years.


In this issue of Nouvel Fonkoze, I hope you are as inspired as I am with stories of the Fonkoze “spirit” moving through Haiti, the U.S. and beyond. To see longtime supporter Dr. Fred Clark so movingly eulogized, to see children in DC come together to perform a play about Fonkoze, to see more clients graduating from Ti Kredi, to see the son of a Fonkoze client shaping an exciting health pilot in Lenbe … it all makes my heart sing.

Carine Roenen, Director Fondasyon Kole Zepòl #12 Rue Miot Cite Wilson 1ere, Pacot Port-au-Prince, Haiti +509.3990.1003

But, like I said, I love to sing! “Friends of Fonkoze, how are you? Haiti is counting on you. There is much work to do, and not enough workers. We hope — WE KNOW — you are coming.” In solidarity,

Joseph B. Philippe, CSSp Founder and Coordinator

Anne H. Hastings, CEO Sèvis Finansye Fonkoze #12 Rue Miot Cite Wilson 1ere, Pacot Port-au-Prince, Haiti +509.3701.3910 Leigh Carter, Executive Director Fonkoze USA 1700 Kalorama Road NW, Suite 102 Washington, DC 20009 202.628.9033


Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012

Ti Kredi Class of 2012 Takes the Stage By C ass i dy Rush | E x t e r n a l C o m m u nic ation s Sp e ci a l i s t, F on k o z e USA



he day is April 28, 2012, and 65 entrepreneurs, dressed in their Sunday best, will receive their Ti Kredi diplomas in a church in Boukànkare. It’s sweltering in here, but no one seems to mind. After a prayer, four young ladies commence the celebration with song and dance, garnering the audience’s enthusiastic applause. Regional Director Mystal Singer, Regional Supervisor Wilbert Marcelin and credit agent Onel Belfort give stirring speeches extolling the group’s hard work, patience and integrity. The graduates begin to cross the stage; friends and families, community leaders and Fonkoze staff look on proudly, clapping as the MC reads each woman’s name and hands her a certificate. This is but one of eight Ti Kredi graduations that we will hold this summer, with over 2,800 women in total completing the program. Most graduates will continue growing their enterprise in Fonkoze’s Solidarity program, where they will have access to bigger loans and greater opportunities. A Ti Kredi graduation is a special moment. For most clients that complete the Ti Kredi program, this graduation is the first time in their lives that a group of people has recognized their strength and perseverance. This day marks an impressive accomplishment: each graduate has successfully paid back three consecutively larger loans over the course of six months, propelling her small business to new heights in the process and putting her family on a path to greater economic security. Situated on the second step in Fonkoze’s Staircase out of Poverty, Ti Kredi is an introductory micro-credit program designed for clients too poor, inexperienced, or vulnerable to succeed in a traditional microfinance program with-

Above: Performing a graduation-day skit in Twoudinò. Left: Two proud graduates show off their diplomas.

out close supervision and support. The women of Ti Kredi start out with a $25 loan, which they must pay back within a month. Though it might seem like a modest amount of money, it presents a tremendous challenge—and opportunity—for those receiving it, allowing them to make the first capital investment in their new business. The same can be said for the subsequent loans, each of which must be judiciously managed, and invested wisely, in order to be repaid. Ti Kredi clients are not alone in this endeavor. Their credit agents and center chiefs teach them how to read, organize their finances and better sell their goods. In addition to these hard skills, they also learn about sexual and reproductive health, children’s rights and environmental protection. This comprehensive support helps explain why 90% of Ti Kredi clients successfully finish the program, getting this memorable opportunity to walk across the stage.

“I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. It’s taken a lot of work, but I’m proud of where I am,” said Gertha, a 42-year-old graduate who participated in Fonkoze’s program for the ultra poor, Chemen Lavi Miyò, before continuing onto Ti Kredi. “We’ll see how far I make it.” And we plan to accompany Gertha and women like her as far as their dreams and determination will take them. Upon graduating from Ti Kredi, clients may choose to advance to the third step on the Staircase, the Solidarity Loan program, where they start with loans of $75 that they repay over three months. Results from a recent case study conducted by the Grameen Foundation show that clients who graduated from Ti Kredi into Solidarity stayed with Fonkoze longer and realized improvements in key socioeconomic indicators such as livestock ownership and food security at a faster rate than their peers who started first in Solidarity. This study reaffirms Fonkoze’s philosophy that we can reach and empower the poor, no matter how poor they might be, to make and sustain important progress out of poverty. You can help support Ti Kredi by donating to Fonkoze USA, ensuring we will hold many more graduations in the future. 8 Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012


Fonkoze Ambassadors Around the U.S.

Aimie Jones and Alexa Quinn — along with the many new supporters of Richmond Friends of Fonkoze (RFOF) — spoke to the Richmond community about their experiences on the Fall 2011 Fonkoze USA delegation to Haiti. RFOF (who were also key in planning the Episcopal High School event [page 5 top left]) are busy raising funds for the eventual opening of a new Fonkoze branch in Haiti.


Believe us, there is no lack of inspiration and creativity involved! A case in point was the play Chemen Lavi Miyò written by a local DC supporter who traveled to Haiti with Fonkoze and returned to tell the story of Fonkoze’s successful program for the ultra poor. Chemen Lavi Miyò was performed by the children of the A tap-tap gets moving at the 2nd showing of the CLM play at DC-area Fonkoze Ambas- the Audubon Society in Chevy Chase. Whole Foods Bethesda sponsored this showing. sador group, Hearts to Hands in Haiti, raising on our own’ tears welled in my eyes. All critical funds for Fonkoze programs. participants really came to understand As the talented playwright, Jessica that the cornerstone of Fonkoze’s work Lusty, recalls “When the inspiration to create this production hit, we really had is solidarity, and I am heartened to know they will carry this vital knowlno idea what was in store. Yet, my dear edge with them on their journey in life.” friend and Fonkoze volunteer, Frances In the coming months Fonkoze USA Wu, and I decided to go for it. Working will be creating an Ambassador toolkit with the children to build the props, learn Creole songs and rehearse the play and organizing an Ambassador training to better equip our friends to work with across several weekends, brought inus. Fonkoze depends on its Ambassateresting challenges, amusing surprises dors because we are all truly “stronger and enriching moments.” together than we are on our own.” 8 “Every time our dear friend, 7-yearold Ruthie Barrose — who played soliIf you're interested in learning how to darity member Lamasi — delivered the become a Fonkoze Ambassador, e-mail lines ‘we take a loan together because we are stronger together than we are


CONTINued from page 1

Cast and crew from the 2nd showing of the CLM play at the Audubon Society in Chevy Chase.


Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012

Every year Fonkoze of Santa Barbara (FSB) holds their Irish Night fundraiser. Money raised from this event helps us continue educating our clients on how to better manage their businesses. FSB was also a driving force for the opening of the Janrabèl branch in 2009. We very much appreciate the efforts of our West Coast partners!

Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA hosted a benefit concert May 11 for Fonkoze featuring the National Chamber Players. A member of the newly formed Richmond Friends of Fonkoze helped organize and promote the show, which attracted over 150 lovers of chamber music and Haiti’s largest microfinance institution. Among those in attendance was Kenneth Merten, United States Ambassador to Haiti. We thank Ambassador Merten for his solidarity, and we look forward to future collaborations with Fonkoze fans in Alexandria and Richmond!

Duquesne University and gracious host families in Pittsburgh are longtime partners of Fonkoze. Over the last 10 years, nearly 30 Fonkoze employees from Haiti have advanced their careers through studying English and other subjects. These opportunities are made possible by generous scholarships from the university and the unwavering support of the Pittsburgh community.

Fonkoze Video Wins Top Honors On April 5, see3 Communications announced that Fonkoze’s Solid Women video, produced by Good Eye Video, had won the 6th Annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Award for best video by a medium-sized organization. Most important among the prizes was a day on the YouTube homepage! Thanks to this victory, the Solid Women have spread their story across the globe, with their video having been seen over 39,000 times on YouTube. We would like to thank all of our supporters who came to the side of the Solid Women and helped us share their inspirational story with the world!

Supporters in Bucks County, PA threw a barn party in March 2010 and raised over $50,000 to support Fonkoze’s earthquake response. The next barn party is planned for June 2, 2012. Many of the same barn party folks also came to see Fonkoze’s work on the ground in April 2012 as part of the Bucks County delegation. Thank you Bucks County for standing strong with Fonkoze!

Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012


Staff Profile

Client’s Son Becomes Force for Client Health


onkoze has always strived to provide its clients with more than just loans. Now, thanks to Dr. Wesly Elize and his team, we are teaching our clients how to better care for their health. Wesly’s father died when he was four years old. His mother, Immaculee Pierre, assumed full responsibility for the material wellbeing of her children, which included Wesly’s younger brother and sister. Like many Haitian women, Immaculee earned a living selling basic

Dr. Elize attends to clients in Kanyèt, Lenbe. 6

Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012

foodstuffs like rice, flour and cooking oil. With only her income to support the family, it was difficult to get by. “We had very few resources. She had to be both father and mother. She had to look for help from outside, and she found Fonkoze. Their loan allowed her to expand her business,” Dr. Elize says. Wesly’s mother became a Fonkoze client in 1997. She started with a loan of $75; by 2005, her portfolio had grown to $1,000. These extra earnings allowed her

to send Wesly and his sister to live with their grandmother and attend middle school and high school in Port-au-Prince. In 1999, Wesly won a scholarship to study general medicine in Cuba. After graduating in 2005, he returned to his native Savanette, some 95 kilometers outside Port-au-Prince, to complete his residency. Meanwhile, he continued his studies, specializing in family medicine through the Cuban Medical Mission in Haiti. In 2012, being familiar with Fonkoze’s work in poverty alleviation, Dr. Elize jumped at the opportunity to work as a Health Project Officer. “I already knew part of Fonkoze’s history. I knew it was going to be easy for me to adapt,” Dr. Elize says. “When I was working in Savanette, we did community health activities. Working for Fonkoze would give me a chance to continue doing that, but on a bigger scale.” These days, Dr. Elize spends his time managing Fonkoze’s health pilot project in and around the town of Lenbe in northern Haiti. He and a team of three nurses train center chiefs in basic healthcare—for example, how to prevent sexually transmitted infections and avoid malnutrition. With the nurses’ supervision, the center chiefs then give this same training to the other Fonkoze clients who belong to their credit centers, thereby multiplying this critical knowledge. The nurses also examine clients in order to detect diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses. “Since I started practicing medicine, I’ve grown to like it more and more. It’s a very noble profession,” Dr. Elize says. We couldn’t agree more. 8


By C ass i dy Rush | E x t e r n a l C o m m u nic ation s Sp e ci a l i s t, F on k o z e USA

Donor Profile

Dr. Fred Clark Leaves Legacy of Generosity by L e i g h C a r te r | E x e c u ti v e Di r e cto r , F on k o z e USA



n April 28, 2012, the Fonkoze Family lost a true friend. Dr. H. Fred Clark died after making a remarkable recovery from a stroke while courageously battling the progression of Parkinson disease. At a Philadelphia meeting of the Haiti National Network in the early 1990’s, I met Fred for the first time and his passion for Haiti made an indelible impression on me. Fred loved Haiti, and was fervent about justice for Haiti and Haitians. The First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG), where Fred and his wife Karen worshipped, were eager to step up and “twin” with a community in rural Haiti. This is when Fred met Father Joseph Philippe, the founder of the Peasant Association of Fondwa, and became a trusted friend and advisor. After visiting Fondwa several times, and listening to the vision of Father

“Fred was a first-rate scientist and a first-rate human being.” — Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

participation too difficult. He loved the arts, music, theater, the Phillies, running, gardening, and his dogs. I am so happy I was able to see Fred one last time at the Fonkoze annual Benefit in New York City. Our eyes met when he entered the room that night, and he was truly thrilled to be there. I’m sure he called other friends this, but I will miss hearing him say to me, “How are you buddy?” In Haiti, some believe when they die their soul returns to Africa. I like to think that Fred’s soul will visit Haiti. 8 PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY

Dr. Fred Clark

Joseph about creating a “bank the poor could call its own,” Fred became one of the very first people in the U.S. to begin spreading the word about microfinance in Haiti and to promote Father Joseph’s dream of Fonkoze. In fact, it was Fred who conducted my initial interview for the position of executive director of Fonkoze USA. Fred worked so hard for Haiti, it was hard for me to imagine he had time for other interests or activities. Not the case! Along with his team at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Fred invented the rotavirus prevention vaccine Rotateq, saving the lives of 600,000 children per year worldwide. For this, he received the Children’s Hospital Gold Medal and the Jonas Salk Award. He supported social justice and peace activities — Mothers of the Disappeared in Central America, Act for Peace, and anti-death penalty causes — until Parkinson disease made physical

Fonkoze Financial Services CEO Anne Hastings, center, with Dr. Fred Clark and his wife Karen at the the Insuring Haiti’s Future benefit on March 29

Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012



1700 Kalorama Rd NW, Suite 102 Washington DC 20009

Fonkoze USA Delegation to Haiti October 6-11, 2012 Fonkoze USA will host its annual delegation to Haiti this October. Join us for an incredible, in-depth view of Fonkoze’s work in Haiti. k Learn how Fonkoze is helping women entrepreneurs in the poorest country in this hemisphere as they struggle to climb the Fonkoze Staircase out of Poverty; k Understand the economics and realities of life in the rural countryside of a developing country still in the midst of disaster recovery; k Experience firsthand the successes and challenges of grassroots economic development in post-earthquake Haiti; and k Meet Fonkoze clients and staff, and learn about their lives, their businesses, their hopes and dreams for a new Haiti. The trip costs $2,000 for all in-country activities including travel, hotels, activities and meals. It does not include airfare to and from Haiti. Please contact Leigh Carter at or 202-628-9033 for information and an application. Your completed application and a $250 non-refundable deposit to Fonkoze USA will be due by September 1, 2012.

Return Service Requested

Fonkoze Benefit Dinner a Success On March 29 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, Fonkoze held the Insuring Haiti’s Future benefit dinner and concert. The event focused on the importance of global reinsurer Swiss Re’s partnership with Fonkoze in providing clients with insurance against catastrophic damage to their livelihoods. Fonkoze Financial Services CEO Anne Hastings gave an impassioned speech extolling the virtues of this new protection for Fonkoze clients. We also awarded actress Yeardley Smith with the Solidarity Partner of the Year award and Swiss Re America Chairman Walter Bell with the award for Global Partner of the Year. However, the night’s most memorable moments would have to belong to Haitian singer-songwriter Emeline Michel and her band. They lit up the stage with an impressive show of musicianship and a captivating stage presence. Having raised just over $200,000, we can only call the benefit a grand success. See you in 2014!

WE ARE APPROVED! Federal employees can now donate to Fonkoze USA through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). It’s one more opportunity to support economic democracy in Haiti. Designate your contribution to the Fonkoze USA, CFC ID # 31204.


Nouvel Fonkoze | Spring 2012


Fonkoze USA Approved for Combined Federal Campaign Donations

Nouvel Fonkoze Spring 2012  

This is the spring edition of Nouvel Fonkoze, the official English newsletter of Haiti's largest microfinance institution.

Nouvel Fonkoze Spring 2012  

This is the spring edition of Nouvel Fonkoze, the official English newsletter of Haiti's largest microfinance institution.