This is the story of Elianne Marcelus, one woman in our microcredit program, funded by AMURTEL donations!
“Before the earthquake I used to have a house that had 8 rooms. My family and I used to live upstairs and rent the downstairs rooms to others. Then everybody died. I survived but was very badly hurt and very ill. I was unable to do anything for my own, not even going to the toilet. A friend of mine took some of my children with her to her place, but I was too hurt to go anywhere, I could barely move.
“I was in the street like so many others.
“Some doctors took me, if not I would have died. They took me to Santo Domingo in the DR, with some other people in very bad conditions. They didn’t have enough equipment to operate on me there, so I had to wait or come back to Haiti. I didn’t want to come back without getting the surgery, so I waited with my pain for a week.
“Finally a boat came with supplies. After three days they came for me and I was operated on. After 4 days they had to bring me back in order to make room for the new hurt people that was coming to the hospital every day. I was brought back to Haiti. When I arrived I realized I didn’t remember any telephone number of my family. MINUSTAH brought me home.
“I didn’t have a place to go. I didn’t have a home anymore. I was sick and I had to sleep in the streets, with no shelter, as so many others had to do. My children came back. I thought of this neighbor of mine. We went beside her house and with some cardboard and scraps of metal we found, we made a little shelter. I had noting. I had lost everything. My husband could not find anything to feed us. We were so hungry. I trembled of hunger…
“One Saturday my husband went out and somebody gave him 100 Gourdes. I went to the little shop I used to go. I owed money to that woman. I gave her the 100 Gourdes to pay her back, but I asked her to give me some bread in advance. She told me they had finished all the bread.
“But I could see how she gave to other customers. I felt so ashamed that I could not move for a long time. I just stood in the street. One person even asked me what I was doing there without moving…I felt so ashamed I couldn’t talk. When I came home my children were crying. I made a soup with water and a little salt we had, and I sent them to sleep. I was awake the whole night. The next day I went to another neighbor to ask if they had any food, but they closed the door. I was so filled with shame and sad that I could not give food to my children.
“At the end of that week a member of Amurtel came and invited me to a meeting. I didn’t feel good and I didn’t believe anyone could help me. But I went to the meeting and was asked if I wanted to be part of the microcredit program they were starting.
“That little money from the Microcredit Project changed my life. I went many times to the market to buy food for selling. And when I sell all I came back to the market to buy more. That little amount of money took me very far, from a terrible situation. I am able now to feed my children. That little money allow me today to be here talking to you and I am very thankful for that.
“I am not ashamed anymore.”