|Phaeton is in the northeast corner of Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic.|
The Village of Joy is part of the town of Phaeton, Haiti. Phaeton is an old factory town. For many years, a nearby plantation grew sisal, which was made into products at the factory in Phaeton and shipped by rail to Fort Liberté, Haiti. The plantation and factory shut down in the 1980’s. Since then, economic conditions in the region have deteriorated.
In an attempt to find work, many Haitians cross into the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, Haitians and their neighbors in the Dominican Republic do not get along well. There are many reasons for their animosity. For example, in 1937, the Dominican Republic’s dictator instigated a massacre that killed tens of thousands of Haitians. More recently, in 2013, the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic retroactively revoked the citizenship of anyone of Haitian descent. Last year, the government began mass deportations of Haitians living in the country.
|Posing with Kerlange, her children, and a niece.|
Kerlange Saint-Dus’s family is one of the families affected by the Dominican Republic’s crackdown on Haitians. Kerlange’s sister and her sister’s three children were recently deported from the Dominican Republic. They now live with Kerlange and her three children (3, 5, and 18).
To support her family, Kerlange took a small microloan (about $25 US) from Fonkoze, a Haitian-based microloan NGO (non-governmental organization). She used the money to start a small cooking business, but she doesn’t use microloans anymore. After paying the loan back with interest—about 30%—the profit wasn’t worth the risk (or the effort). Kerlange’s family will benefit greatly from a Food for the Poor sustainability project. We will begin those projects, as soon as the housing portion of the village is complete.
All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of all money donated goes directly to the Village of Joy project.