fueling locally-led progress in rural Haiti
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Rika’s Full Interview

Rika is 28 years old, married and the mother of two school age children.

She was able to go to high school all the way to the last year but not able to graduate.  She left school when she was 18 because she was pregnant.  Then she kept going back until she had both children and it was too difficult to continue.

When her children had both started school, she heard about the sewing program and enrolled.  During this time, she made a little extra money by running a little “restaurant” at the market on Thursdays.  A restaurant at the market entails cooking a large pot of food and having a place for people to sit and eat.

Going to sewing school was always difficult because she lives an hour’s walk away.  First she would make sure her children got there in the morning for their school and then go back for her own classes in the afternoon.

Still she managed to graduate first in her class.  Father Abiade, the director of the school, chose Rika to attend a special entrepreneurship training last summer.  Now she teaches entrepreneurship to the sewing students.  And she has also been chosen to take on a position as an instructor at the sewing school which will begin in January.

Rika’s Interview

CHP: How has her sewing and entrepreneurship training helped her and her family?

Rika: With the sewing program and the entrepreneurship program, I am able to manage my life and my family’s life better. My new position has helped improve my family’s situation.

CHP: Have you been able to use your training?

Rika: I have not yet been able to have a profession as a seamstress, because I don’t have a sewing machine yet.  However I am satisfied with how things are going.

CHP: What have you learned from your vocational training?

Rika: Combining Sewing with Entrepreneurship has taught me how to live on a budget.

CHP: What is it like being a teacher instead of running a restaurant?

Rika: The restaurant allowed me to make money more quickly.  (Rika is still in the learning process of sewing and entrepreneurship) but I was also sick more often.  Teaching and sewing is much easier on my health than running the restaurant.