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Marie Veronila Antoine and family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Marie Veronila Antoine and family



“This is a new life”

Marie Veronila Antoine, 37, is assistant coordinator of the Association of Women’s Solidarity in Léogâne’s Santo community. She is a force of nature, dressed in a Halloween vest and skirt in the middle of July with bright-colored curlers in her hair and carrying a purse covered with black-and-white images of Lucy and Ethel from “I Love Lucy.”

She seems to know everybody in this community of emergency shelters, stopping often to exchange pleasantries and laugh.

Her good humor belies the living conditions that she and two of her three children—16-year-old daughter Johanna and 4-year-old son Nicolas—have suffered since the 2010, earthquake. She also has a 20-year-old son.

“We do not want to live in these conditions,” Antoine said. “This Habitat project is a new life for us and the community of Santo.”

The 25 members of the Santo Association of Women’s Solidarity have been actively involved in every step of the Carter Project planning. The group also has a broader purpose: to help prevent violence against women and children and to educate women on how to improve their own lives.

“We want to work to change, and Habitat is helping us to change,” Antoine said. “We’ll always be with you. For now, we want to wish you all a warm welcome.”