Rosemitha Petit-Blanc 2

Rosemitha missed the first day of the workshop. She sent her husband in her place. She was off in Savanèt, at the weekly market. She didn’t want to miss a day selling her merchandise.

She started a small commerce when she joined CLM, and it’s a lot of work but it’s going well. She buys plantains on Wednesdays from women bringing them to the market in Kolonbyè. She lives right next to the main road, so she catches them as they pass by her house. On Saturdays, she brings the week’s purchase to the market in Mibalè for sale. While in Mibalè, she uses the money she’s earned from plantain sales to buy okra to sell in Savanèt. The CLM program started her with 1500 gourds of merchandise, and she’s already increased her investment to 2000 gourds, even though she also uses profits to help feed her family.

But the business is risky. She depends on the trucks that pass by her house on market days to get her plantains to market. If she can’t flag down a truck with space for her plantains, her merchandise could go bad before she can get it to market.

So she’s working to increase her capital until she can change her business model. She wants to sell rice and oil, basic groceries. “Oil doesn’t go bad,” she explains.

She’s happy about the way things are going. She and her husband are working together. He still works in fields, but now she contributes to the household income, too. She doesn’t like her husband’s bad temper. “He gets angry a lot.” He yells at both her and his mother, who lives with the couple. But she lives with it because he’s not violent and he’s a good stepfather to the child she had before they got together. “He treats all our children the same.”