Most Haitians do not have formal jobs. Unemployment and underemployment are rampant. Some estimates suggest that two-thirds of the country's 3.6 million workers are without consistent work. Many Haitians survive through subsistence farming rather than looking for jobs in the overcrowded urban areas. The country's minimum wage is 70 gourdes per day, equivalent to about $1.70 US. Global Security.org
Community Market: After years of searching, community leaders were able to purchase a rare, flat plot of ground on the edge of town. The market lends itself to more shoppers and vendors. The space has been organized for various types of activity, vending, slaughtering animals, donkey parking, and gardening. In the back is a public latrine, a relatively rare resource in this territory.
Production: Liz Alig, a professional clothing designer from Indianapolis who specializes in making products from recycled materials, showed women how to make purses from T-shirts and plastic bags. Several batches of purses have been sold in Indianapolis. Classes in sewing with electric machines with emphasis on how to make school uniforms will hopefully start before the end of 2017.
Micro-Lending: Financial capital is all but unavailable to rural women without collateral. When a loan can be found the interest rate is exorbitant. Years ago local women pooled personal savings to create a small revolving loan fund. FBR has considerably enhanced that fund. More than 50 local women borrow money from the fund to buy goods and materials which they sell in neighboring markets.
Community Store: Mini-markets are a standard in Haiti. Typically, the vendor, usually a woman with a lot of patience, displays her entire inventory on a blanket. Capitalizing on their unique source of electricity, TPC built a small store at the community center to sell drinks, and snacks. They also charge cell phones and laptop computers, all for a small profit which is used to support community projects. FBR funded solar lights are sold for less than half of their actual cost. Proceeds are used to fund house building.