In recognition of International Women’s Day, we’re sharing a glimpse at your impact in the rural community of Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti. Here, in a country overrun with disruptive and relentless violence, your generosity is helping women build and manage small businesses—so they can invest in their family’s future despite the implications of instability. 

On a small plot of arid land sits Denar’s home, where she and her husband raise their two children. For Denar and other mothers living in this isolated community, limited economic opportunity and the total absence of infrastructure are among their greatest challenges. The ongoing political strife and violence has only worsened these threats to health and livelihood.  

Sadly, the situation facing Denar’s community is not unique across Côtes-de-Fer. That’s why CMMB Haiti champions activities that engage women with health and economic resources through MuSo groups.  

“Being a member of the MuSo group makes me happy, and I feel relieved,” said Denar.  

MuSo: Investing in women and their communities

Women enrolled in MuSo groups, are invited to participate in trainings that promote financial management. The trainings lead to opportunities for members to start or strengthen small businesses through availability of loans. Additionally, members have access to trusted community health workers who encourage conversations and promote healthy practices.  

“The MuSo is a community activity that is supposed to develop self-training, self-organization, and autonomy in decision-making among the members,” said Sovenel Fils Moreau, CMMB Haiti’s livelihood officer. “These attitudes have made the intervention sustainable, and they have allowed us to create strong social interactions, based on democratic principles, between members.”  

Thanks to your support of CMMB and our MuSo groups, 150 small businesses have been created by women in Côtes-de-Fer—Denar’s business among them.   

A growing business and bright future

Before Denar joined CMMB Haiti’s MuSo group she struggled to keep her small business afloat. It’s one thing to worry about how to support yourself. But to struggle without the means to care for your children is a heartbreaking reality that too many mothers like Denar face.  

“I was hopeless with almost nothing in my hands to provide for my family,” she said.   

Denar’s situation started to change when she became involved with the MuSo group. Here, she met other women trying to manage small businesses and support their families. She also received knowledge and tips from community health workers, all aimed at maintaining her family’s health and well-being.  

Through trainings, Denar learned new ways to manage finances for her business and family. With the loans made available to MuSo members, she was able to expand her business offerings.  

“I contracted a loan last year in June 2023,” she said. “I used to only sell oil, rice, and flour, and now I sell more, including cleaning products.”  

“Thanks to MuSo, I can better manage my business, which has given me the opportunity to have a better life with my family.”  

Besides Denar’s newfound confidence in supporting her family’s future, there is another reason she is grateful for her membership in the MuSo group: the trusted partners she has found in CMMB-supported leaders.   

“We know that CMMB undertakes serious activities in Côtes-de-Fer. It’s an organization that really helps communities, especially women.”  

Join us on International Women’s Day

We’re honored to share Denar’s story on this International Women’s Day. For us at CMMB, it represents the importance and value that investments in women can have on a mother, a family, even an entire community. Join us and our global partners as we call for stronger investments in women and greater recognition for their role in thriving communities