Marie Yolène Théus

Yolène is a 27-year-old woman with four kids. She and her family live on the top of a little hill in Fon Desanm.

Her mother died when she was very young. The older women had a baby die before childbirth, and she wasn’t able to get the help she needed to overcome the complications. Yolène hardly remembers her. Yolène was taken in and raised by her older sister. The sister took good care of her, and she helped her with her nieces and nephews. But she did not send her to school.

Eileen eventually moved to Port au Prince to look for work as a maid, but got pregnant. She returned to Fon Desanm to have her child, and soon moved in with her current partner, who went through getting a birth certificate for her first child, though it has no father’s name on it.

Like several of her neighbors who joined the program when she did, she chose goats and small commerce as her two activities. And she has already received her three goats. But she has changed her mind about commerce, and her reason is telling. She’s worried that becoming a businessperson could lead her into arguments with customers who want to buy on credit and then don’t pay. And she says that she’s afraid of arguments.

So she’s asked her case manager, Martinère, to buy a pig for her instead. He’s happy to let her make the decision, but it is complicated. The pigs that the CLM program buys for new members cost more than the amount that it would spend to buy her merchandise for her business. Members who choose goats and a pig get only two goats, so the staff will have enough money to buy a promising pig. But Yolène already has three goats, so the pig she’ll get will be very small. But she is afraid enough of going into business that she’d rather have the pig even so. She eventually passed one of her goats along to a member who hadn’t received hers yet. So now Yolène will be eligible for a proper pig.

She optimistic about the program. “Lavi w pral chanje kanmenm. Ou pa gen anyen. W ap genyen.” “Your life will change in any case. You have nothing [now], but will come to have things of your own.”