Gregory and his bakery
Our first microenterprise launched was a bakery for a young Haitian entrepreneur named Gregory Louis. Gregory is a very gifted young man, especially in math and numbers. Several years ago when playing bingo at the orphanage, we discovered that he can memorize several bingo cards without ever marking the numbers! Because of lack of resources he never finished school, but Gregory has always been ambitious and driven. Gregory has been a responsible bakery manager for years. He has been trying to save up money for his own bakery, all while supporting his grandmother, mother, and sister. When he shared his vision of having his own bakery, we knew he could handle it but is caught in the cycle of poverty. It is nearly impossible for him to save up enough money with the conditions of Haiti. Through our Haiti Expo Midwest Tour, a generous donor, who was a baker himself, sponsored the first year’s rent for the bakery and we were able to propel Gregory forward!
Since the launch of Gregory’s own bakery, he has been able to support his grandmother and mother, put his sister through school, and pay for his own doctor’s visit and medicine needs. We interrupted the cycle of poverty in his life and gave him a chance of a lifetime. Gregory now has a stable business that will sustain him and his family. This is a success story. And we need more like it.
Stephanie, a future nurse
We have known Stephanie since she was a little girl. She lives a few kilometers down from our orphanage. Her mother was majorly crippled and her father was trying his best to take care of everyone, including his three children. Everytime we visit this family, we bring them rice and bean because they often spend days without food. The mother would cry in helplessness because she can not provide for the family due to her conditions but would tell us every time that she prays for us everyday. But Stephanie would away be by her side patiently attending to her mother. Stephanie finally graduated high school, and sadly her mother passed away. Stephanie always wanted to be a nurse, inspired by all the years of taking care of her mother. But it is a rare case for someone living in the rural villages to have the chance to go to university and it was not a possibility task for their recently widowed father. Stephanie reluctantly sat at home for a full school year aimless at what her future holds.
Our team remembered Stephanie at the year of the launch of Elisha C. and made the decision to sponsor her to go to nursing school. We shared an indescribable moment with her and her father when we shared with her that her dream will come true! She surprised us all at the end of her first year of nursing school with a lack of resources compared with her classmates and studying with no electronics but an old flip phone, she placed number two in her class! She was so passionate about all that she learned, she couldn’t wait to take all of our blood pressure tests and show us her grades. She has been tremendously grateful for the team that every time the team comes she will print out her school picture as a gift for us all! She would tell us that she wished she learned all these skills to take care of her mother, but now she can help many more people in need. We are seeing her life transform in front of our eyes. She is no doubt going to be one of the best nurses in Haiti. We need to raise up more leaders like her to put Haiti in the hands of Haitians.