Creativity in Action: Microloans for Haitian Farmers
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Adapting to Community Needs
Youth 4 Business (Y4B) is continually seeking to meet the needs of the community as best we can in whatever circumstances the people
find themselves in. We have responded to the need in Les Cayes through our vision to see Haiti as a place where youth can have the resources, mindset, and opportunities they need in order to reach their full potential and build strong communities.
Youth 4 Business’s mission is to provide quality entrepreneurial education to the youth of Les Cayes, Haiti, connecting them with a network of Y4B educators and alumni so that they are equipped to respond to the needs of their community by turning creativity into action.
We have primarily achieved this mission through formal business courses taught in schools. Due to several mitigating factors, the schools are currently closed with no certain reopen date, preventing our educators from teaching courses. So Y4B now looks to the second half of our mission: responding to the needs of the community by turning creativity into action. Instead of letting our resources (employees and funds) be idle, we are choosing to come alongside the people of Haiti in their time of crisis.
Loans for Farmers
Y4B has developed a short-term program to supply local farmers with loans so that they can plant their crops this season.
The heart of our business curriculum is a change of mindset, from dependence to dignity.
Instead of leaving the people to depend on outside aid to help them through this current crisis of food insecurity, we are providing an option for them to have the dignity to provide for themselves.
The most basic need of the population in Les Cayes is sustainable food. A majority of the basic food comes from farmers/landowners who, due to the crisis, do not have funds to purchase supplies for planting. Milord, one of our teachers, and Coicy, our Haiti Director, are spearheading a Y4B short-term loan program for local farmers so that they can plant their crops this season. The majority of the recipients are alumni and their families.
After on the ground research, Milor and Coicy met with local farmers to explain the program. Short term loans will be provided to purchase supplies such as seed and equipment. Milor and Coicy consulted with each planter according to their needs and provided basic funding for their planting needs. In some cases the planters were encouraged to work together to save funds. Currently there are eleven participants in the loan program with loans ranging from $55 to $370 USD.
One recipient is Y4B graduate Alexis Herlin. In this video he says "My name is Alexis Herlin. I thank the staff of Y4B who accept to help me in my work. I was not able to plant, but because of the loan I am now preparing my land and it is almost ready for planting. I am going to water the land and then tomorrow I will plant. I hope everything will go well so that I will pay back the loan and you will be able to help another person like me. Thank you."
The network of Y4B alumni and educators are putting creativity into action, even amidst dire circumstances. A gift of $55 provides a loan for a farmer in this network to plant crops and ensures food security for multiple families.