Why Madan Sara?
Madan Sara is a business practice of people, mostly women, who travel, buy, distribute and sell a variety of goods in different markets.
However, the Madan Sara is not only a business model or a lifestyle, but an important part of a Haitian culture. The Madan Sara embodies all of the values that Haitian women hold. Nevertheless, the business model is not formal for many reasons, such as the lack of investment, infrastructure, and available state assistance. With all of these obstacles, the Madan Sara continue to be one of the most important parts of the Haitian economy and of who we are as a country.
The Madan Sara Story
I met Clotide Achille in Marche Tèt Dlo. As a journalist, it normally it takes me a substantial amount of time to convince someone to partake in a simple 5-minute interview. It took 20 minutes for Clotide to agree to be in the Madan Sara video documentary. Clotide understood immediately the importance of having her story heard. As a woman who raised five children on her own and financed her house to be built, her story is an essential one to share. With all of the difficulties and obstacles that exist in the life of a Madan Sara, Clotide chose always to focus on her dream, rather than to complain. This was also a turning moment for me as I became more motivated after our first encounter. As Clotide told me, “I did my part, now it’s for the new generation to do their part and fight for a better future, for themselves and for their country as a whole.”
Personally, I experienced the power of Madan Sara through my mother who worked tirelessly to provide for her children. It is now my turn to do my part as a journalist and film-maker. Anyone who goes to a market in Haiti cannot deny that Haitian women are champions in keeping things running in Haiti, from sending their children to school, from buying and distributing goods and taking care of families.
Haiti’s economy can be prosperous with investment and the validation of women’s roles in the Haitian economy. Madan Sara is in the forefront for the battle for a more modern, inclusive economy.
The Madan Sara Project
According to IHSI, half of the population of Haiti is women and most of these women work in the informal sector. Many of them are Madan Sara. The Madan Sara project will shed light on, and tell the stories of, this business practice which deserves a formal acceptance into the Haitian economy and into the Haitian society. Telling the stories of the Madan Sara is telling the story of Haitian women who are under-reported, under-valued, and under-represented in all levels of society. The Madan Sara project will allow these voices to be heard and to talk directly to society to demand better.
ABOUT THE FILM
THE MADAN SARA ARE ON THE FOREFRONT OF THE BATTLE FOR A MORE ROBUST AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMY IN HAITI.
WHO ARE THE MADAN SARA?
The women known as Madan Sara in Haiti work tirelessly to buy, distribute, and sell food and other essentials in markets through the country. Despite all of the obstacles faced by the women working in a sector that lacks investment, infrastructure and state assistance, the Madan Sara continue to be one of the most critical parts of the Haitian economy and of who we are as a country.
WHY TELL THIS STORY?
The “Madan Sara” film tells the stories of these indefatigable women who work at the margins to make Haiti’s economy run. Despite facing intense hardship and social stigma, the hard work of the Madan Sara puts their children through school, houses their families, and helps to ensure a better life for generations to come. This film amplifies the calls of the Madan Sara as they speak directly to society to share their dreams for a more just Haiti.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
Our goal is to create a film that serves as a powerful tool that can be used in Haiti and beyond to help gain support and visibility for the struggle of the Madan Sara. And now, after a year of hard work, we have wrapped up shooting and are preparing to finalize the film. We need your help! Follow this link to learn more and give what you can today.