Rose-Marie was born and raised in Mategouasse, a small community near the Haiti-Dominican Republic border. She’s a 35 year old mother of three, her youngest is just 11 months.
Rose-Marie’s love for Mategouasse and her desire to see people - particularly children, pregnant women, and mothers in the community - have good health led her to be one of the first women to join a Cascade group in 2015. “At first, I was a little reticent about the idea of becoming a Leader Mother in my community. I didn’t see in myself a mother that could influence other mothers because I was not a good example at that time,” Rose-Marie explained.
“I was just like the other mothers; we had the same lifestyle. My first two children used to get sick very often and I couldn’t do anything to prevent that from happening. For these reasons, I thought that I couldn’t be a Leader Mother.”
Before joining a Cascade group, Rose-Marie took her children to the hospital all the time and spent a lot of money to treat their frequent illnesses.
The health workers at the hospital told her that her children’s diarrhea was due to a lack of hygiene at home. She was told that she had to wash her hands before giving food to the babies but she didn’t apply these instructions because she couldn't understand how that could be the reason for her children’s sickness.
A few months after joining a Cascade group, Rose-Marie got pregnant and gave birth to her third child - a baby girl. “Since the very first day of my daughter’s birth, I started to apply all that I learned from the Cascade group trainings. I breastfed the baby for the first six months, and didn’t give her any food or water. I washed my hands before holding or breastfeeding the baby. It was amazing to see the difference; my baby was stronger and healthier than the others, and she was cheerful all the time!”
People in the community regularly comment on the good health of Rose-Marie’s children. It’s obvious that she has made significant changes and that those changes are having a huge impact on the other mothers in her neighbourhood. Many mothers now try to implement what Rose-Marie is doing.
“I very am thankful to Food for the Hungry for such a program in the community. It helps us a lot. I can’t even tell you how much I benefited from all the trainings I’ve received. The Cascade groups are a Godsend. My hope is that this activity will reach out to all the mothers in the whole Belladere region.”
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