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Women Empowerment

Chache Lavi (Seeking Life)

FEJ’s “Chache Lavi” program aims to promote gender equality and empower women living in the Lamardelle area by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to create and sustain microenterprises. The women learn how to utilize their talents to build small industries and in the process, promote community development and generate economic power and stability.

Each cadre of women is trained by professionals in business operations, management systems, communication and advocacy skills, problem-solving strategies, and financial literacy. They are taught how to manage family finances, obtain and use credit, and start and sustain their own businesses. In the process, they also learn more about women’s rights, nutrition, self-esteem, health, and empowerment.

Your contribution to the “Chache Lavi” program will help promote economic stability and women empowerment in the Lamardelle area and inspire the same across Haiti. Studies show that women play a vital role in the development of a country, and this program provides the tools to ensure our women are in a position to succeed.

Either through starting a business or learning a new trade, the knowledge and skills each woman gains will be passed onto other women. Your support is essential to achieving sustainable economic development. Your contribution enables us to:

  • Empower 300 women a year
  • Dramatically improve women’s economic security
  • Increase household income and assets
  • Provide education on financial literacy, healthy nutrition, and family planning
  • Increase women’s civic participation, self-esteem, and empowerment
  • Create a local and international market for women’s production
  • Renovate FEJ’s vocational learning center so women can network and exchange knowledge

How “Chache Lavi” Works

Strategy 1: Pre-selection

FEJ’s community social worker selects a group of 30-40 highly motivated women to participate in this three-month program. Women are selected based on economic need, proven willingness to learn, dedication to the program, and commitment to previous FEJ community-based activities.

Strategy 2: Comprehension Training Program

Each cadre of women completes an intensive training program in the first two months. Topics include business operations, management systems, communication and advocacy skills, problem-solving strategies, and financial literacy. Successful business-minded professionals, in partnership with FEJ, orient the women toward using their talents and skills to create innovative ways to differentiate themselves from the market.

All the necessary tools and materials are provided to the women to help them enhance their microenterprises, provide more services, and add value to the community. Qualified guest speakers also address issues of sexual abuse, family planning, reproductive health, and other related topics that advance women’s rights and empower them to make healthy life choices.

Strategy 3: Recruitment of Outside Sources

FEJ continually recruits business leaders from Haiti and across the globe. Specialized professionals from major international organizations, community-based organizations, consulting firms, and non-governmental organizations work in partnership with us to help train, support and guide the women toward economic success.

Strategy 4: Implementation of Business

Upon completion of the training, the women are given start-up funds for an initial trial period. Each woman also receives support from a business mentor who advises and assists them in running their business and applying their newly-acquired skills.

Strategy 5: Monitoring & Evaluating

FEJ monitors the initial trial period and provides regular bi-weekly support as well as individual sessions, upon request, where the women can seek guidance and support for the daily challenges they face. FEJ continues this level of support until the women are independent.

Strategy 6: Follow Up

Upon successful completion of the trial period, the women are given full ownership and control of their microbusiness enterprise. Individual follow up meetings occur every month to ensure that their business continues to grow. FEJ also conducts ongoing research to refine the program and incorporates insights gained from graduates to better support the next cadre.

Strategy 7: Mentoring

All graduates serve as godmothers to the next cadre of women. Godmothers offer support and mentor new participants through the intensive training and business start-up. In the spirit of solidarity, FEJ encourages all graduates to return 5 percent of their net income to help new participants start their businesses and sustain the program for the future.

Chache Lavi graduation ceremony, February 2011

A network of women will also be created to advocate on behalf of women and promote women’s rights, education, and best practices in growing and sustaining business as well as achieving family preservation. All of which helps women develop as natural leaders in the community.

Strategy 8: Access to Family Planning & Healthcare

Ongoing access to affordable health care and family planning services is also provided to graduates. The family planning program teaches women about reproductive health, life skills, access to education, economic empowerment, and pregnancy prevention. Our goal is to reduce malnutrition and unwanted pregnancy within the community.