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Mercy Focus on Haiti celebrates graduates of Chemen Lavi Miyo program

February 11, 2019

Nine delegates from Mercy Focus on Haiti, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, traveled to Gros Morne, Haiti, last month to celebrate two hundred women who graduated from the Chemen Lavi Miyo (CLM) program which they began in June 2017.

Mercy Focus On Haiti (MFOH) partners with Fonkoze, a family of organizations that work together to provide financial and non-financial services to empower Haitians-primarily women-to lift their families out of poverty. The program was funded by Mercy Focus on Haiti.

CLM is based on the graduation approach methodology—a means of enabling families to lift themselves out of ultra poverty through an intensive, 18-month program. With the guidance of Fonkoze case managers, the women created dependable livelihoods and a plan for their future.

"These women moved from not having an adequate roof or house, a latrine, clean drinking water or their children in school to having these things," Sister Dale Jarvis notes. "They also have assets in the form of animals, can write their names and no longer suffer from malnutrition."

All family members of the CLM participants, almost 1,000 individuals, receive medical care twice during the 20-month program. The medical personal assesses the health of these individuals, by data points, lab studies and personal exchanges. They teach general health education and hygiene.

MFOH has also placed a Haitian nurse within the Cohort Community to monitor medical issues throughout their journey. This asset can encourage better health management now and education for the future.

Andi Healy, a member of MFOH, was grateful to attend the graduation said, “CLM helps women to discover their individual strengths and talents.”

One graduate upon receiving her certificate said with a smile, "Today I said good-bye to misery."

The next cohort in the CLM program will begin later this year.

In addition to the CLM program, Mercy Focus on Haiti also helps the people of Gros Morne with an agronomy center; financial support of Maison Bon Samaritan, a home for the elderly; support for the students at the Jesus and Mary school; as well as helping with special projects when possible. Many students and supporters are able to experience life in Haiti through the various immersion trips led by Mercy Focus on Haiti.

Joining Sister Dale and Andi Healy for the celebration were: Sisters Beth Dempsey, Eileen McDonnell, Anne Marie Miller, Kathy Thornton and Jill Weber, who lives in Gros Morne, as well as Scott Allison and Cheryle Gray.

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