new family home Courtesy of Susie Sixel and D&D Carpentry
Ivenie Silne, who is barely able to write her name, lives with her mother and her daughter Wilchise in an unsafe area in Les Cayes, Haiti. Ivenie is solely responsible for the care of these family members. Wilchise’s father hasn’t provided any support for years, forcing Ivenie to place Wilchise in an orphanage. She wanted her daughter to have access to education and safe shelter so that she could have a better future.
After eight years at the orphanage, Wilchise has been reunited with the family, but the family’s living conditions haven’t improved. Ivenie is still struggling to cover the basic needs of her family. She now must leave her current home in Les Cayes because she cannot pay the rent. The situation has become more complicated because Wilchise is currently pregnant. Soon, Ivenie will have another person to provide for. Meanwhile, her economic situation is getting worse due to the crisis in Haiti, which has been exacerbated by political problems and natural disasters.
Ivenie is currently living in a one-room home, and in a few months, Wilchise’s child will born. Since they were not able to afford rent, the family wants to move back to their home community of Maniche. The home they rent is built of rock, and the roof is made of sheet metal. The house has no toilet and no kitchen. To cook food, they use charcoal and cook over a fire outside. This house, already in poor condition, was severely damaged by the August 21 earthquake in southern Haiti. Since then, the family members–including pregnant Wilchise–have been living outside without any protection from sun and rain.
Ivenie is the only household member with any income, which is insufficient to provide food for the family. She cannot afford prenatal care for Wilchise. Overture International has been assisting Wilchise with food, medical care, and support from social workers. Without such support, Wilchise risks repeating the cycle of separation when her baby is born because she is unable to provide for the child’s basic daily needs.
Thanks to Susie Sixel and D&D Carpentry, in partnership with the PAULS program and Overture International, Ivenie is receiving a secure home so that her family can remain united. Additionally, she will have access to Overture International’s Family Preservation Program, where social workers will customize a plan specifically for her and Wilchise in order to prepare the birth and care of the new baby. This plan will help her achieve independence and enhance the care of her daughter and forthcoming grandchild.