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Marlene N., Community Health Entrepreneur (CHE)

Marlene is a single mother who works hard to provide for her six children in the Goyay area of Haiti’s Central Plateau, where rural families like hers are all too often overlooked and sometimes forgotten. Marlene is determined not to fall through the cracks of society. And she is succeeding.

Previously selling coal in Port-au-Prince, Marlene left that business and the city behind to start a new business outside of the capital due to ongoing unrest and rising crime. Shortly after, she joined the Solidarity Program of WE Partner, Fonkoze, and was trained to be a Community Health Entrepreneur (CHE). She now proudly owns her own boutik sante–a community health store–and is able to help her local community by providing access to health products, services, and education. Her drive and success even earned her the position of Center Chief, a peer-elected leader of a Fonkoze-empowered Solidarity Center. Five to six Solidarity Groups from a common geographical area join to form a Solidarity Center of 25-30 women. Centers meet monthly to repay their loans, build community and participate in education and training activities. 

Marleen says she trusts Fonkoze and is always encouraging other women to join. Proud of her growing business, she enjoys selecting high-quality products and is happy that a Fonkoze procurement site is located close to her home.  “I don’t have to spend money and time on transportation to purchase items to sell in my store,” she says. 

Marlene has been a Fonkoze client for 15 years. Since beginning her partnership with Fonkoze, she has made a tremendous amount of progress, both personally and professionally. Her hard work and determination have also enabled all her children to stay in school. She says, “Thanks to the loans and the business skills training I’ve received from Fonkoze, I have been able to grow my business, purchase my own land, and I plan on building a home soon!”