Fifi has been working at Real Hope for Haiti since August 2011. She is 50 years old. She is originally from a village behind the mountain of Cazale that is about a 4 hour walk from RHFH. She moved with her sister to Cazale in 1993. Her husband left her with her 2 boys when they were 3 months and 3 years old. He left her with many unpaid debts and never returned or sent the family any money. Since then she has heard that he is living in a different country and doing well. She has 4 living sisters and a brother. Her older sister’s husband had left her as well and they were both struggling a lot. At that time there were no schools in their area but they both wanted their kids to go to school.
An extended family member had an empty house but it wasn’t in good shape. He told them they could live there rent free, and fix it up as needed. Fifi and her sister and their kids moved in together in 1993. They washed clothes for people and hand washed people floors for a little money. Once they were able to save a little money they started buying large bags of rice, sugar, flour and oil to sell in smaller quantity for a profit. When her oldest boy was ready to start school she did not have any money, so she went to a local church to ask for help. She said she will forever remember the nun that was there who told her she would pay for her son’s first year of school. After the first year she was able to save enough to afford her kids school without help. She said some times they would just eat one meal every other day when the school fees were due but she never missed a payment.
When she began working at RHFH many people who she was indebted to from her past began asking for the money to be repaid since she had a job. Since she had a steady income, her family member kicked her out of the house they were living in. She has been a faithful worker to RHFH since she started in 2011. She has been able to repay all her debts and put both of her boys through school. She cried when they finished school and knows that she did all she could to make this possible for them. She and her family have been attending the local Church of God Church since 1993.
What is Fifi’s job? She takes care of the visitors and volunteers that come to RHFH. She sweeps and mops and helps make meals every day for volunteers. She makes sure there is cold water to drink and a bucket of water for everyone to take a shower with at the end of the day. When I asked her if she likes her job she said yes; when I asked why she said it makes her happy when people come and visit Cazale to help lighten the work load. She loves it when someone tells her “thank you” or “the food tasted good today” because she feels like she has done her job well. I asked her what she would like to change about her home. The area she lives in does not have good running water so they have to walk down a steep mountain to get drinking water. She wishes this would change. She also thinks electricity and a better road would improve the community. She wishes there were more places for people to find jobs as well.
She asked that everyone pray for her to be able to build a house, for her kids to find jobs, and for her to continue to do well in her work. We love Fifi!