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Helping People Help Themselves: One Marvellous Mercy Example

Editor: Mercy Focus on Haiti, (MFOH), a collaborative of Sisters of Mercy, Associate and Friends of Mercy, supported by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, was highlighted last week in the Global Sisters Report as a practical example of the work being carried out by religious congregations to help alleviate poverty. It was cited by the author of the article 'In development goals, sisters set a people-first example' as a form of ministry addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Why?

Image: L-r: Kathy Thornton rsm, Jill Weber rsm, Sophie Hertz, Sarah Healy, Beth Dempsey rsm, Kathy Thill rsm, Serge Beliard, Gary Gedeon, Andrea Healy. Photo: MFOH

In February this year the Institute entered into an agreement with Haiti's largest microfinance institution Fonkoze in an 18-month program, Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM or Pathway to a Better Life) in the Gros Morne region of Haiti. The purpose of the program is described in the first quarterly report to Fonkoze as 'to enable ultra-poor women to emerge from poverty by acquiring income-generating assets and the skills, health, and confidence to grow such assets.'

The program is liberating, advancing the freedom and dignity of persons who are poor, building skills and sense of self, expanding economic opportunities. In this it is in alignment with the goals of the SDGs which are 'to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all'.

400 women and their families, including over 1200 children, living on $1.25 per day or less, will have their lives improved through participating in the MFOH-Fonkoze CLM partnership program which was launched on 13 July with the first cohort of 200.

The article in Global Sisters Report is linked to this item. More about the ministry intiative Mercy Focus on Haiti and its involvement in the CLM program can be found on its website. Previous articles from Mercy Focus on Haiti published on can be found here

Messages to: Kathy Thornton rsm - Mercy Focus on Haiti Coordinator