Celebrating the People of Haiti

Accomplished photographer, Emmanuel Andre, collaborates with talented designer, Mimi Plange, to create extraordinary portraits of the iF Foundation’s beneficiaries. The primary goal of the collaboration is to bring a sense of vibrant colorful energy to showcase the beauty of each individual, while displaying the rich details of Andre’s black and white photography.

Meet iF’s Beneficiaries

Suzette Louis
Suzette is a member of Fanm Devwe, the very first women’s group partnering with the iF Foundation in 2012. iF supported Fanm Devwe with a no-interest loan to support small commerce, which they paid back in full. iF currently supports the group with a gardening project. Along with other members of the group, Suzette grows vegetables to make a living. She lives in Jean Michel with one son and one daughter. Her focus is to raise her children so they can take care of themselves in the future. She says that it is difficult to raise a daughter, especially in Haiti. She therefore is focused on helping her daughter to stay on the right path. Suzette has experienced many failures in life and would like for her daughter to have a better future. One of her goals is to keep her daughter in school. ” My dream for my daughter is for her to finish high school and to go to college, so that she can do something positive with her life. I don’t want her to be at the same level that I currently am or to live the life that I have lived”.

Rose Carmene Louis
Rose Carmene Louis is Suzette Louis’ daughter. She lives in Jean Michel with her mother and goes to school. Her dream is to become a doctor.

Samuel Myrtil
Samuel Myrtil is one of the most successful farmers in the Agricultural Program. He grows beans, corn, rice, peanuts and more. He has been with the Program since it’s inception, providing his land for iF pilot programs and continuing on to become a loan beneficiary. He first grew beans and is now a peanut farmer. Samuel had the highest bean yield in an extreme drought season and is also among the farmers with the highest peanut yield in the Program. “I have never made as much money farming as I do now with the support of the iF foundation”. For him, the hardest part of farming is manually preparing land. However, he feels that agriculture is the only hope for Haiti.

Renold Chrispin
Renold Chrispin is a peanut farmer and also one of the most successful farmers in the Agricultural Program. He is now in his third season with iF. Before working with iF, planting was difficult because he did not have help to prepare his field, but because iF assists with land preparation things are now improving. He has five children who help him with his farming and one of his children works directly for the iF Foundation. “My dream for my children is for them to be whatever they want to be, whether it is an agronomist, doctor or engineer. I really don’t know how far they can go, so I continue to support their education giving them unlimited opportunity in life”. When the season is not good, Renold feels sad, but when there is a good season, he works nonstop. Working to support his children brings Renold the most joy in life. His family eats everyday even if it is not always a complete meal. What matters is that there is always food on the table.

Laurent Vilma
Laurent is a farmer with the iF Foundation’s Agricultural Program and a teacher at the Holy Cross Sister School, a beneficiary school in the iF Foundation’s Breakfast Program. He lives in Bordes, and has three sons. His wife is also a teacher at the Holy Cross Sister School. He grows peanuts with the iF Foundation and has participated in two seasons already. He teaches third grade in primary school as well as high school. He thinks that teaching is more difficult than farming because it requires a lot of talking and you have to engage the students. What he likes about planting is the fact that “the land is our mother and it is what feeds us. Therefore, when planting, there is always the hope of getting something back. Farming is also what helps to pay for school and to feed our children”. Laurent’s hope for his students is for them to have a better life than his. That is why he gives his best to provide them with quality education, providing them with unlimited opportunity.

Julien Christian
Julien Christian is a 68 year old farmer who grows peanuts, other crops and fruit trees. He lives in Dericourt and has two married children and five grandchildren. Julien hopes that his grandchildren will live by the same principles and values that he does such as paying for purchases and paying back loans, so that the family can have continued blessings. Julien’s motivation in life comes from farming and raising animals because that is what he always did to take care of his children. He hopes that the Foundation will continue to help him with his farming because he believes that the iF Foundation means the future for Haiti. He used to think that life was over for him. However, thanks to the Foundation and its collaboration, he feels like a young man again because he now has a better quality harvest and is earning money. He is not making a lot of money, but he is making money. Thus, his hope for the future is to continue to have more success with his farming with the help of the iF Foundation.

Joachim Saimbert
Joachim Saimbert lives in La Suisse and grows many crops including yucca, sweet potato, and beans. With the iF Foundation’s agricultural program, he grows rice, peanuts, and cabbage. Joachim cannot really recall at what age he started farming. His father was a farmer and he has been following in his footsteps since he was a little a boy. He liked working with his father in the field and used to help him before going to school and after coming home from school. Farming for him comes naturally. He always knew that he would be working in agriculture because when he was young, he wanted to be either an agronomist or an engineer. Unfortunately for him, his father died while he was still young and he did not get the chance to pursue his dream. He has no regrets however because he was able to educate his two children with farming. Joachim hopes that his children will continue to farm and become even more successful. He thanks God for having great children who are not lazy. He hopes to become a more successful farmer with the support of the iF Foundation so he can be an example within his community.

Etienne Abdias
Etienne Abdias lives in Chiron and grows corn and peanuts. He likes farming, but manually plowing the land is the most difficult part for him. Growing up he wanted to be an agronomist. He has one child for whom he wishes a better life and to be someone in society. Besides that, he would like for his child to have a farm and to follow in his footsteps.

Dona Mercie and her son Peterly Desir

Dona Mercie is a member of the women’s group Fanm Devwe, the very first women’s group partnering with the iF Foundation in 2012. iF supported Fanm Devwe with a no – interest loan to support small commerce, which they paid back in full. iF currently supports the group with a gardening project. Along with other members of the group, Dona grows vegetables in a collective garden for sale, planting cabbage, carrots, and peppers. On market day, Dona’s journey starts early.

Donna takes her bowl and goes to the garden to harvest tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage to sell at the market. After packing her goods, she leaves her house at around 8:00 AM on a motor taxi, When arrives, she places her vegetables on the ground and people come to buy. Around 4:00 PM, she packs up and heads back home on a motor taxi. This is how she and the other group members earn their income. “This is good for us,” Dona says. “What I like about it is the fact that we don’t go to buy elsewhere. We plant, harvest and feed our children with part of the harvest and then sell the rest to get money for their education”.

Dona lives in Jean Michel with her husband and five children. She has a one-year baby and four school age children. The vegetables they grow in the group are not enough for all group members to pay for their children to go to school. However, they have other farms and they combine the revenue. All of her family members eat every day, even though it may be just a little bit. It breaks her heart that there are people in her community who don’t have enough to eat.

Dona talks with her children about the future, encouraging them to continue in school. According to Dona, the most difficult part in life is when you are idle. She is grateful to be able to work and to support her children.

Dona’s son Peterly is in his second year of secondary school and a very good student. He likes to study and to earn good grades. English is his favorite subject. He knows that his mother works very hard to send him to school. He would like to be an agronomist when he grows up.