Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What does MPM Haiti stand for?
A: "Moun Pou Moun" Haiti. "Moun" [moon] means "Person" and "People" and "Pou" [poo] means "for."
Q: Why do you want educational sponsors?
A: The families we work with cannot afford to send their children to school. When a student has a sponsor, she or he has the ability to attend school as well as connect with the benefactor of their opportunity.
Q: Who manages the programs on the ground?
A: Co-founder Samuel Thidor is the Director of Projects and coordinates an incredible team hired from the local community.
Q: How did this all get started?
A: Co-founders Samuel Thidor, Christen Parker, and Rodney Yarnal met in January 2005 in the town of Torbeck, south of Les Cayes. They connected through a local birthing center and MPM Haiti was formed when they coordinated the school enrollment of 6 children of a destitute widower in the community.
Q: Why empower through education and loans? Why not provide medical care or food?
A: While medical care and food are indeed important to all people, we believe that the tools of education and microloans give people the opportunity to provide for their own medical and food needs and give them the ability to direct their own lives. Our programs come from needs and wants expressed by the communities we work with.
Q: Is MPM Haiti religiously affiliated?
Q: Is MPM Haiti a registered nonprofit??
A: Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S. and our Haitian NGO status is pending.
Q: Can I go to Haiti and help?
A: We welcome you to come visit and prioritize "Learning Haiti" over "helping" at first. The people we work with are incredible teachers and there is much to learn. Please contact us with more questions.
Q: I can't donate much, but can I still help?
A: Yes! All donations of every size help. We also have volunteers all over the country who throw small to large fundraisers that make a significant difference. Would you throw a Haiti party? Contact us.
Q: Why do you have so many seemingly different programs?
A: Good question. We see all of our programs as closely connected. Education empowers individuals to choose the next step in their lives, vocational education empowers in ways that are particularly relevant to many we work with, business education and microloans empower a woman to start a business and support herself and her family, and all of this cannot be accomplished if a family falls ill due to water-borne illness. We have chosen specific tools to empower the community with knowledge and opportunity.
Q: What small businesses do women typically start with a loan?
A: Selling used clothing that is bought in bulk and often refurbished (called "pepe" or "Kennedy" in Haiti), toiletries, food staples like oil, garlic, rice & beans, phone cards, and other items locally in demand.
Q: Why don't women just borrow from banks?
A: While someone can apply for a loan at a bank in Les Cayes, the interest rates and conditions are often prohibitive, especially for poor women and most especially for disabled women.
Q: How does MPM Haiti administer micro loans?
A: MPM Haiti's program uses a step-wise approach in order to combat rural poverty. The logistics of our lending program are based on feedback from the women themselves. First, before receiving any loans, women are trained in the essentials of microfinance. These training sessions focus on basic business skills, networking with other women who have similar challenges, and the development of a long-term savings plan.
The second component of the program builds capacity through individual and group lending. In regular meetings with MPM Haiti's staff, women learn about the fundamentals of group-based lending and their individual responsibilities within it. Groups of five or six women come together to borrow jointly, making a group deposit and committing to regular meetings and consultation. Groups typically borrow between $1,000US and $2,000US, depending on their size and collective experience. Repayment is at 3% interest typically for 7 months. When they complete repayment, they can apply as a group for a larger loan. We prioritize loans for women with disabilities.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Please ask them. We look forward to hearing from you. Email us here.