A group of women leaders from the local Port-au-Prince organizations of, SOPUDEP, MOJUB, Le Phare and OBMP came together after the earthquake in 2010. Born from the increasing hardships faced by women and children after the earthquake, they embarked to start a Micro-Credit program.
This program is working at ground zero for Haiti’s economy in what is referred to as the “informal market”. Officially, the unemployment rate in Haiti is around 75%, but it does not account for the shoe shiner, the woman selling soda and water or the man pushing a wheelbarrow of sugar cane to the market. This informal economy around the world accounts for a $16 trillion-a-year. $11 trillion of that is generated by women. These informal economies extend into every village and neighborhood in Haiti, and Réa, as well as many others understand, that the bolstering of these micro-economies and is critical to Haiti’s health in the long term.
In March 2010, FASA (Fam SOPUDEP an Aksyon) gave the first twenty women 2500 gourds ($63.00 US) each to buy products from a wholesaler to sell in the market and on the street. From March 2010 to January 2011, Réa had put a total of 150 women into their own business. Réa was realistic about the initial impact of the program because it was born out of crisis, but for the time it was a way to generate a little bit of income for these women.
In 2013, FASA leaders and members sat down to restructure the organization. FASA has completed a first-phase plan to take turn the organization in to cooperative core, with a micro-credit exterior for the multi-faceted business that these women run. This mitigates the risks of the individual business owner by creating a central collective support base. Their approach is unique that each business will try and support and utilize the other, further creating a loop of economic growth.
In June 2014 a sum of $10,000 was received from Rotary Club Barrie Canada and the first set of credit was handed out to 25 women and 3 men in August 2014. A further sum of $2,000 was received in December 2014 from David Jenkins to increase the credit available.
FASA 2.0 consists of 25 women and 3 men drawn from SOPUDEP staff, Le Phare, Mojub and OBMP all based in Morne Lazare and Jalouzi neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince