February 11, 2013 | Contribution by
STEVEN WERLIN Steven Werlin, Regional Director, Fonkoze
Fonkoze CLM (Chemen Lavi Miyò) Case Manager leads training in the Central Plateau of Haiti.
Photo credit: Ben Depp
Fonkoze is known as "Haiti's Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor." It's the largest micro-finance institution offering a full range of financial services to the rural-based poor in Haiti — serving more than 56,000 women borrowers and more than 250,000 savers. We asked Steven Werlin, Regional Director for Fonkoze's CLM program (which is for the ultra poor), about the organization's efforts to help rural women develop their own income-generating activity. He emphasizes the need for "asset transformation" — for example, starting out in animal husbandry but over time moving up into small commerce. The government can help by redoing the roads to handle big produce trucks. He also points to Fonkoze's close partnership with Partners In Health, which involves going out into the field and helping people understand that they need to go to the hospital or see a doctor.
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