DOWN A NARROW footpath, on a steep slope of Tapion Mountain, lives Adline Dèsir and her three sons. Also living with them is a fourth boy whom Adline took in to raise. The family lives in one of the many plywood relief houses provided after the 2010 earthquake. Just a jump away from the house is a small chicken house where Adline raises chickens to sell for meat.
Adline joined the SALT Microfinance program two years ago and used her loan to start raising chickens. Every few months, she buys 200 chicks that are a day old. For the first week, she keeps them warm by using hot charcoal, oil lamps, or even a fire of wood shavings. She never leaves the chicks alone for long periods of time and even sleeps near them at night. Adline’s livelihood depends on keeping those chicks alive. Once the chicks are bigger, she can at least eat the meat if they die, but losing them as tiny chicks is pure loss. When the chickens are 32 days old, Adline takes them to the market on the weekend, the time when Haitians usually eat chicken. She tries to have all the chickens sold within a month’s time.
Adline cannot quit talking about how much she loves her SALT family. “The program is so encouraging!” she says. “When I can take my loan payment in, I am so happy! We all help each other. We share ideas.” SALT accountability groups meet about once a week to make loan payments and to discuss the business and spiritual lessons in the SALT handbooks. “The lessons give us wisdom, teach us to love, work on our consciences, and make us want to read our Bibles,” Adline says. “It’s like a grapefruit tree, ripe with fruit, and every time you pass by, you eat from the tree.”
Adline is saving money to buy cement for a new house. Hers is starting to rot at the poles. “Before I was with SALT, I didn’t even have hope of saving money,” says Adline. “Now I have HOPE.”