Just Hope International Expands Widows Empowerment Program in Haiti

January 26, 2018

Les Cayes Widows

Just Hope International, with private donations, announces the expansion of its program to economically empower widows whose businesses were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in Haiti. Prior to Hurricane Matthew, the widows were street vendors supporting more than six dependents each. The program will now serve widows in Les Cayes, Haiti, and is an expansion of Just Hope International’s Widows Empowerment Program Haiti (WEPH) that began in October of 2017 in Jeremie, Haiti.

The primary goal of the Widow Empowerment Program is to revive the local economy by empowering widows to rebuild their businesses and spread the culture of entrepreneurship. Based on Just Hope’s mission to make an “impact that lasts,” the program allows those who expressed a genuine desire to improve their circumstances to regain their dignity, generate household income and break the cycle of poverty. By promoting business ownership and economic empowerment, the program will also create jobs for youth and women who were living on public charity.

Over the past four months, Just Hope International has witnessed great success in the Widow Empowerment program in Jeremie. The 25 self-employed entrepreneurs in Jeremie, Haiti generate $13,500 in combined monthly sales with a profit margin of 45%. The program has instilled a new confidence and restored dignity to the widows involved. These results sparked interest and have led to the expansion of the program to Les Cayes, Haiti.

Initially, there will be twenty widows with prior entrepreneurial backgrounds enrolled. Each will be given business skills advice and capital to restart their venture.

The widows were selected through personal interviews conducted by volunteers from Just Hope International. Each interview reviewed the applicant’s personal story, entrepreneurial background and plans to restart her lost business. Each participant requested a specific capital investment under her own terms. The repaid amount will be reinvested in similar programs in Les Cayes and Grand’Anse Department, Haiti. There are no collateral or personal guarantee requirements for the investment.

According to their business plans, these twenty, re-energized entrepreneurs will generate $60,000 in annual revenue, create opportunities for others and regain personal dignity. They will engage in a variety of enterprises, including street vending selling groceries, household goods, shoes and clothing, running street cafes, and farming.

The program will be rolled out on February 6, 2018.