Laumène François 2

Laumène wasn’t feeling well on the first day of the three-day workshop. She’s been having headaches and hot flashes. But she came anyway, and she seems happy to be there.

She’s certainly happy to be in the program. “I’m happy about the way I’m managing [what I have]. They’ve given me things so I can hope.”

She talks about the water filter she’s received, about her new goats, and about the cash stipend she’s getting every week. “M ap vi alèz.” “I live comfortably.” Her goats, she says, are her path to a better life, and having her own water filter means she’s no longer crouching down to drink any water she comes across.

Her children are happy about the program, too. She says that they’re the reason that she can come to meetings whenever we invite her to one. “They see what I’m doing.”

She knows that the CLM team will only have 18 months with her, but she doesn’t seem worried. “They’ll leave me with principles that I can stick with.” Her goats will provide young, and she’ll have a new home so that she won’t be living “under a tree.”

Her plan is to stick with her livestock. She is afraid to invest in small commerce. “It’s too easy for the money to fritter away. The kids would yell for this or that, and it would eat up the money.”