Chrismène flourished from the moment she joined us. Martinière watched her with affectionate pride as her livestock grew and multiplied because of the excellent care she took of them. She invested cash that she saved from her stipend into her farming, and was rewarded with strong harvests. And she worked hard and with discipline to take advantage of the materials the program made available for her to repair her home and build a latrine.
But one thing surprised us.
Single women usually have a very hard time with home repair unless they have a father, brother or older son around to help them. There is a lot we insist that members do toward building their own homes, things more easily done with a partner’s help. Chrismène is a small woman, and her children are still too young to be much help. When the program started, she didn’t yet own a pack animal. She would need someone to help her do the heavier lifting. Her older sister came and stayed with her for a few days to help her lug the dirt and rocks she would need to build up the walls of her house. But getting the cement for her latrine and the tin roofing from Kafou Jòj up the slope to Mannwa, and then back down the other side to her home in the very back of Lalyann would be no joke. And with Elgué in the Dominican Republic, we weren’t sure how she’d manage.
For more information about To Fool the Rain, the first book about Fonkoze’s CLM program, click here.