On Saturday, August 14, 2021 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southern Haiti, reducing communities and leaving thousands of casualties in its wake. Just days later, on August 17, Tropical Storm Grace drenched the country, bringing greater devastation to the many who found themselves without shelter, suffering from injuries and reeling from the loss of loved ones.
With her business located near the epicenter of the hurricane in Les Cayes, VV GROW fellow and Chief Root Cultivator (CEO) and Founder of RADIKAL, Nora Jeanne Joseph was left devastated. This heartbreaking catastrophe left many of her team members and collaborators without shelter or food. Quickly mobilizing to provide emergency relief to her community, Nora’s enterprise began sending direct cash assistance to their network.
As a social impact business dedicated to investing in marginalized women and frontline communities, this work is deeply ingrained in RADIKAL’s mission. Through a network of women empowered micro-franchisees, the company distributes organic cosmetic and food products that are manufactured in-house to the mass market in Haiti. Using a vertically integrated model, the company operates along the entire value chain- sourcing raw materials from local farmer cooperatives at Fair Trade pricing, partnering with women’s cooperatives during the production process, and distributing goods through the micro-franchisees. Nora and her company work closely with the women to start and structure their micro-businesses, as well as gain access to funding and support throughout their journey. In March of 2020, the company pivoted their strategy to focus on combating food insecurity. For the last year, RADIKAL has grown a network of women-operated food franchisees, known as the Saradi, who offer affordable, healthy meals to the most vulnerable in Haiti. Equipped with food carts, local ingredients and water filters, these women are tackling food insecurity head on.
Seeing the lives of the Saradi uprooted and many of their businesses destroyed, Nora immediately thought of her community, who, like her, were left anxious and concerned. Within days of the crisis, RADIKAL began working with the Saradi to set up food stations to revive their businesses and serve those that have been displaced by the earthquake and the storm. Over the last month RADIKAL has facilitated the transfer of direct funds to over 1,000 women, who are helping to sustain Southern Haiti and are leading the efforts to rebuild their communities.
Nora’s dedication to empowering and investing in women is a reminder to us all of the collective power of women to shepherd us through crises. We know that the global community is indebted to women leaders like Nora and the Saradi, and call us all to do our part in lending support to the Haitian community in their time of need.
For ways you can help the Saradi, please consider donating to RADIKAL’s efforts on the ground:
To learn more about Nora Jeanne Joseph and RADIKAL check out their social media:
Facebook Page (business): https://www.facebook.com/radikal.co
Facebook Page (personal): https://www.facebook.com/norajeannej
Instagram (business): @radikal.coop
Instagram (personal): @norajeannej
LinkedIn (business): https://www.linkedin.com/company/radikal-col
LinkedIn (personal): https://www.linkedin.com/in/norajeannejoseph
Twitter (business): @radikaldotco
Twitter (personal): @norajeannej