Taking STEPS to End Poverty… One Family at a Time

Taking STEPS to End Poverty… One Family at a Time

Sencia Charles is 14 years old and lives in Delmas, an urban area in the heart of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Sencia is sponsored through the Christian Horizons Global child sponsorship program.  She’s in grade eight, enjoys playing the flute and her favourite subject is science. Sencia has dreams of becoming a chemist. Yet Sencia isn’t the only one in her family with dreams.

Onique, Sencia’s mother, has been happy to have sponsorship support for the last several years. It has allowed her daughter to attend school and helped her to provide for her basic needs. Onique is engaged to be married but her fiancé has lost his job as a security guard and it been difficult for Onique to even imagine she could have a life beyond a meager existence.

But, things changed when this past year, Onique was invited to attend Biblical Entrepreneurship training and learned about the Saving to End Poverty (STEP) program*. This training is built around the biblical principles of saving and stewardship, encouraging individuals to save to start a business.

At first Onique wasn’t interested in the training, as she had attended similar seminars in the past but found the economical themes difficult to understand and the lessons not practical. Christian Horizons’ local Haitian trainer explained that this training was different. The course is taught by Haitians who have put the learning into practice in their own community.   

Once convinced to go, Onique attended the training offered at the local United Brethren in Christ Church (UBIC)—the UBIC churches in Haiti are our partners in reaching out in their communities. After attending the conference, Onique was quite inspired by what she learned. She began to dream. After talking to her fiancé, they started a business together selling supplies to sustain the family needs.

“It's very hard to save up money every month when you have so many daily needs to meet,” says Onique. “But saving nothing is the worst scenario. The first step is the hardest to make but we are willing to make it”.

Onique learned important principles through STEP training: 

Regarding earning : Never depend on single income; make investments to create a second source.

Regarding taking risk : Never test the depth of river with both feet. 

Regarding saving : Don't save what is left after the spending, but spend what is left after saving.

With the small shop they opened, Onique and her fiancé are able to meet basic needs as well as save some money. They now have started to save toward a house.  Onique is very thankful for the sponsorship support for Sencia’s schooling.  The dream is becoming reality. The family can envision a day the support they are receiving from the sponsorship program can go to another child instead.

* Saving to End Poverty (STEP) program.  Christian Horizons Global is committed to equipping people with tools and knowledge to use self-determination and self-sufficiency to improve their quality of life. During the past year, Christian Horizons Global worked to expand the activities of the STEP program where we serve. It is currently used in our programs in Ethiopia, Haiti, and South Sudan and we plan to expand it into Guatemala and Nicaragua as funding allows.