Four years ago, Merzenat Baronvil and her 5 children were homeless. Her husband had abandoned them and moved to the Dominican Republic, never to return. A stranger to the small village of Boucan Carre, Haiti, and with no other alternatives, she and her children became domestic slaves or “restaveks” to another family in exchange for shelter. KORE staff member, Anel, heard about Merzenat and her family. The chain of events that followed is how God began to intervene.
Merzenat, like many others in Haiti, was trying to survive and support her family in a country where few opportunities for work exist. As the KORE team got to know her more, it was clear that she was a perfect candidate for KORE’s smallholder poultry enterprise program. Soon thereafter, KORE built a 400-bird broiler coop on the property of the family she and her children were serving with the understanding that this would be Merzenat’s business. She went through KORE’s training program, and with the ongoing help of KORE extension agents, she built a successful chicken business. As she began to earn and collect her profits, life became more and more difficult within the household. The host family wanted them out. Merzenat was again in a desperate situation.
Over the next couple of years, she persevered saving approximately $1150 to purchase a small plot of land. The team at KORE helped her move her business to her new property. For the next year, she walked a long distance to care for her coop on her land, continuing to save money to build a house for herself and her 5 boys. This past January, Merzenat and her boys moved into their new home, and are now free from their lives as domestic slaves.
She built a small porch extension on the end of the house and was ever so kind to invite us to sit and visit, looking over what she now could call her own. She shared that she is now saving money to enroll her boys into a nearby school so they can continue their education.
While Merzenat’s life is improving, she still faces many challenges. Supporting KORE means offering opportunities and resources to women, children, and families like Merzenat and her boys.
There are dozens of other KORE farmers with unique stories, that represent incredible victories and overwhelming challenges. To give toward business improvement for them, please give through the link below. https://kore.networkforgood.com/projects/18326-kore-foundation