An urban gardener

8 Jan 2015   |   Blog

Tags:  income generation, food security   |   No comments

Marlène, member of the Urban Garden Project in Haiti



I am very proud to be the president of the Mutual Solidarity Group and extremely motivated to bring in more women and children interested in the Urban Garden Project.”
Marlène Désir

Meet Marlène Désir. President of the Mutual Solidarity Group and member of the Urban Garden Project in Haiti, Marlene is extremely proud of her role as an urban gardener.

Marlène, 66, lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which was one of the areas affected by the devastating earthquake, 12 January 2010. Measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, hundreds of thousands of people were injured or left homeless, over 300,000 people were killed and over one million were left homeless.

When Marlène and her eight children lost their home and belongings from the natural disaster, they were devastated, but thanks to a temporary shelter and participation in the Urban Garden Project they are now looking towards the future.

Food security and income generation

The Urban Garden Project is improving the food security of vulnerable families in Port-au-Prince by increasing access to fresh vegetables produced in home gardens and diversifying livelihood opportunities.

Through the program nearly 650 people in two of the capital’s poorest areas of Solino and Christ Roi were trained in composting, nutrition and urban gardening techniques.

Outside Marléne’s temporary shelter, sits a sustainable garden filled with lush green vegetables. Not only is she growing food for her family, but Marléne is now able to sell the produce and is president of the Mutual Solidarity Group. This group enables women access to financial services that would otherwise be difficult for them to secure, and allows them to save for times of hardship and crisis.


The Urban Garden Project is run by CRS (the Caritas network USA partner), and has been supported by Caritas Australia.

Read more about the Caritas network response to the Haiti Earthquake »


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