Life is Sweet for Haitian Cacao Worker

Raymonde Michel at work. Photo: Nathalie Cardichon, PADF.

Raymonde Michel at work. Photo: Nathalie Cardichon, PADF.

Raymonde Michel, 60, is the mother of five children. Their father died very early and she had to work hard to get an education, pay for housing and care for her family. After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, she began working with Societe Generale de Production Agro-Culturelle S.A. (SOGEPA). She has a ready smile and her coworkers  call her Ti Chapo, or “little hat.”

“The money I make allows me to care of myself, pay my rent of $1,500 for me and my children," says Raymonde. "I have courage and I love my work."

SOGEPA received a grant of $200,000 from LEAD program (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD). Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with support from PADF, LEAD aims to create jobs and promote economic growth in Haiti. To date, the LEAD project has funded 31 businesses and leveraged over $10 million in private capital. The program has provided training and technical assistance to more than 100 companies and created 9,000  direct and indirect jobs in and around Port-au-Prince, St. Marc, and Cap-Haitian.

"It is a beautiful work environment," Raymonde says.