To Fool the Rain: Haiti’s Poor and their Pathway to a Better Life

By Steven Werlin (Foreword by Dr. Paul Farmer)

To Fool the Rain tells the story of the women who use Fonkoze's Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLMprogram’s help to overcome a life of ultra-poverty (the direst form). The program lasts for eighteen months, or twenty-one if you count the time it takes to select the families who will participate in it. In a sense, it’s work that can appear to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. You choose a family, help the woman who leads it start a couple of small businesses, and coach her as she makes her way towards graduation. We have a method that addresses extreme poverty, and we have proven that the method almost always works. Over 95% of our families succeed. The most important lesson that our program has taught us so far is that extremely poor women – women like Rose Marthe and Ytelèt – can improve their lives if they are given a reasonable chance to do so. That lesson directly implies a corollary: Extremely poor families suffer the deprivations of their poverty because those of us who could give them that reasonable chance do not decide to help. Extreme poverty exists because we do not choose to eliminate it.