Starfysh loans a hand up, not a hand-out

By February 10, 2014
Starfysh loans

DeDe poses for a picture.

Haiti (MNN) — The entitlement mentality is prevalent on La Gonave. When Caucasians drive by, small Haitian children run to the roadside and yell, “Blanc! (White) Give me dollar!”

On an island with no economy, very few natural resources, and a high number of NGOs, white people are perceived as human ATMs. But Starfysh loans are a hand up, not a hand-out.

DeDe, the very first recipient of Starfysh’s micro-enterprise program, says he previously worked as a translator for West Indies Self-Help (WISH). However, “The money they pay me for a month was not enough to supply for my family,” says DeDe.

DeDe and his wife have six mouths to feed at home. With DeDe’s meager income, it was a struggle to feed his family each day, let alone pay for each child’s schooling. DeDe says it costs more than $100 USD to pay a month of tuition for a single child.

With Starfysh’s help, DeDe was able to start a bakery.

“The business I do is helping me do a little better to feed my children,” DeDe says. He’s even able to set aside a few dollars to help pay for his children’s schooling.

“I thank God for that, and I wish God will provide more and more for Starfysh.”

Over the next three years, Starfysh hopes to help 100 families start similar businesses. Starfysh’s Freddy Williams says eight other small business owners should have their loans completely paid off by the end of this month.

Learn the ins and outs of Starfysh’s micro-enterprise program here.

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DeDe sends his bread to the Makochon school each week.

Although DeDe’s bakery has gone through some tough times in the past year, his steadfast faith is helping him persevere.

“God has a surprise for each of us,” he says. “I am not able to do anything but God can do everything.”

Starfysh loans have put quite a few projects in motion since the group began four years ago. Through a Starfysh loan, one Haitian worker was able to purchase a planer to help build Compassion’s new school in Trulejean.

DeDe invites you to come see God’s work for yourself.

“Dr. Steve was a blessing for Haitian people…because that kind of work [we] cannot do without Dr. Steve,” states DeDe. “One day, God will make it on your heart to come to visit La Gonave to see why Dr. Steve comes.”

Contact Starfysh to join the next work team heading to La Gonave.


  • Your Name says:

    Wonderful story,keep up the good work.

  • Katey Hearth says:

    Thank you, it was a wonderful trip! Awesome to see God’s hand at work 🙂

  • Tom Larson says:

    I am a long time supporter of West Indies Self Help and presently serve on their Board of Directors. I commend Starfysh for the work that they are doing on LaGonave. I am concerned however on how you portray WISH in this article. There is a lot more to DeDe’s connection with WISH than “the money they pay me for a month is not enough to supply for my family”.
    As a young man, DeDe learned English on the porch of the WISH mission house, taught by Donna Doan, the wife of the WISH director at that time. DeDe was employed by WISH for over 25 years as part of our construction crew. Only when he told us that he no longer wanted or could do the physical labor did that job end. Since then, we employ him when we have dental teams come to use our dental clinic. In fact, he translated for the team that I was on two weeks ago. He has improved his life situation as a result of his association with WISH and we applaud his efforts and his commitment.

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