Microfinance program in Haiti

Funding required: $102,375

This project will help: 1,000 families

Estimated completion date: April 2025

Country: Haiti

Executive summary

A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwest Haiti on August 14, 2021, causing enormous loss of life and significant damage to livelihoods and homes for Haitian families. The death toll for the world’s deadliest earthquake and natural disaster of 2021 hit more than 2,246 people, with an additional 12,200 people injured and 137,500 buildings damaged or destroyed. Haiti lost $1.5 billion in damages—more than 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Families are suffering immensely as they attempt to recover their homes and livelihoods yet again—the earthquake hit just as they were trying to recover from Hurricane Matthew that ravaged the region in October 2016. Haiti’s inflation rate reached 24 per cent in 2021, rendering even more people impoverished and decapitalized. Aside from battling persistent natural disasters, Haiti is also facing a complex and fragile situation due to armed groups that are preventing trade relations between the southern parts of the country and the capital, paralyzing food security.

People are desperate. Children are hungry. Parents are defeated. Recovery is a long road ahead. Based on Haiti’s instability and high risk of natural disasters, Compassion Haiti has already planned proactive disaster responses. Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the National Office in Haiti launched a recapitalization program to equip caregivers to afford basic necessities. The excellent results speak for themselves, with families still able to sustain themselves more than five years later. Based on this proven solution, Compassion is committed to offering income-generation activity initiatives for families disenfranchised by the 2021 earthquake so they can restart their small businesses and provide for their households.

With your generous investment, this loan assistance intervention will target the recapitalization of Compassion households most affected by the earthquake and financial aftermath. Your gift will enable 1,000 families in southern Haiti from 46 different Compassion centres to transform their household financial security through a microfinance program so they can become economically self-sufficient. Caregivers will be trained, mentored and equipped to thrive in their small businesses so they can improve their children’s nutrition and provide schooling—and ultimately, release these little ones from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Did you know?

Compassion Haiti’s recovery strategy plan for the August 2021 earthquake includes: 1) Assessment and immediate response, 2) Relief and recovery efforts and 3) Reconstruction and microbusiness. Thanks to the incredible support from all stakeholders, the first two phases—food and cash distribution and temporary shelter—are well underway, as well as a long-term intervention to reconstruct church partner facilities.

Summary

Background

Haitians are fearful and despaired as the intensity of their poverty intensifies and food insecurity multiplies in the aftermath of the devasting 2021 earthquake. Compassion Haiti has decided to renew its encouragement and hope to beneficiaries by providing vulnerable families with loans from a microfinance program for the next three years.

The National Office in Haiti has successful experience in managing micro-finance programs. The southern regional office created a micro-finance structure after the 2016 hurricane, which still exists with skilled and experienced team members. New staff and participants will be added to this new intervention to assist even more families in gaining financial security.

Drawing on lessons learned from the last time, we know the microfinance program works best when beneficiaries are selected by local church leaders and savings groups are made up of only women (rather than mixed or men-only). Other lessons learned include that church pastors and centre directors are instrumental in the program, collaboration is essential and money must be transferred safely to avoid attacks and theft.

The need

Establishing financial security for earthquake victims is key to actively addressing significant longstanding challenges in Haiti. This disaster has left behind a legacy of poverty and decapitalization, preventing families from dreaming of a better future. Without help to get back on their feet, they have no hope for a better future.

Among the 46 church partners affected by the earthquake, Compassion will enroll 1,000 families into the microfinance initiative, based on their vulnerability and approval by their local pastor. Anyone who lost a loved one in the earthquake will be automatically admitted into the program. Participants will be trained in disaster protection and business security and will be enrolled in savings groups guided by caring facilitators.

We will establish an income generation activities (IGA) team, which will consist of a senior manager, IGA manager, two IGA specialists and eight implementers (four from the previous program and four new ones). The Change Life Foundation in Haiti, a well-known Christian training organization, will equip the IGA team and loan recipients with technical training and tools. The two specialists will each be assigned to oversee effective and efficient loan management in their zones. Implementers will work with local pastors and directors to serve as facilitators and mentors for the savings groups. For the first five months, staff will be paid through implementation funds. Afterward, they will be paid sustainably through interest generated by the loan program. All 1,000 program participants will be required to participate in meetings, pay dues (mandatory savings) and pay refunds.

Your act of generosity will bring great change to disenfranchised families in Haiti. You can make a multi-generational impact across 46 communities by investing in micro-businesses so that participants can provide at least two meals per day to their families and become economically self-sufficient to provide school fees and materials for their children. With this intervention, parents will be able to lift their families out of poverty—giving boys and girls help for today and hope for the future.

What your gift will do

Your gift will provide business training, micro loans and support to 1,000 caregivers from across 46 Compassion centres in Haiti so they can successfully restart their businesses:

  • Loan recipient training
    • Management team training for 7 days
    • Training materials for 10 people
    • Flights for 4 people
    • Lodging and food for 4 days for 7 people
  • Loan funding for 1,000 recipients
  • Coordination and implementation support for church partners
    • 8 laptops for implementers
    • Salaries for 4 new program implementers for 5 months

Logistics

  • Local contribution: US$28,838.56
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Haiti will work closely with the regional office, IGA team and local churches to ensure effective management of this intervention, taking appropriate measures to avoid mismanagement and theft while ensuring each savings group receives assistance to be successful in their endeavours.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: In collaboration with the 46 church partners, loan officers will work closely with the committee to ensure that financial transactions within the groups are completed appropriately and that recipients are setting up their business properly. Church and centre staff will monitor the recipients and provide extra support as needed. The IGA specialist will collect and report on performance indicators from the savings groups and will alert the IGA manager of any issues that might affect the normal operation of the program.
80%

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.