Stories of Change

Rosemarie. Photo courtesy TCPPAH.

Relief for Rosemarie, and an Education for her Grandson

The pandemic has caused widespread unemployment all over the world. As a result, countless families are facing tough economic situations.

Rosemarie Grandville, 65, takes care of her grandson in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. “For 10 years, I have sold bread. It is thanks to this activity that I meet my grandson’s needs and mine. His mother, my daughter, went to look for work in the Dominican Republic. But since COVID-19, she hasn’t been able to support me because she lost her job,” Rosemarie says.

Her daughter’s unemployment left Rosemarie in a tough situation. “This is very hard on me. Before I received the support [from CWS], I even had to take my grandson out of school because I could not make ends meet.”

In August 2020, CWS and our partners did a study about the pandemic’s impact on older adults in Haiti. Our partner Table de Concertation sur la Problématique des Personnes Âgées en Haïti, or TCPPAH, interviewed 60 older people in Port-au-Prince. Everyone reported challenges stemming from the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Of the 60 people, 33 of them were in especially difficult situations. CWS and TCPPAH knew we needed to help. So in February of 2021, we offered those 33 older adults business grants. Each grant was 10,000 gourdes, which is about $137. People used the funds to buy and sell all kinds of food and supplies from gasoline to coffee, bananas, cosmetics or even cement. Eight people used the money to start new businesses, and 25 expanded existing ones. Rosemarie was among the 25.

“I will never stop thanking God for this support that I received,” she says. “Today, I have not only been able to buy a bigger stock of bread, but I also sell fresh vegetables. Thanks to this, my grandson can continue to go to school.”

“I know that you will never be able to understand all the good that you have done for me, but I will continue to pray that God will return it to you a hundredfold,” Rosemarie says.