Darline grew up in Chauvette, a small farming village two hours outside of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, with six siblings – three brothers and three sisters. Her mother died when she was just 10 years old, and she recalls often being hungry growing up.
Today she lives in the same small village with her partner and one-year-old son. They live in a small, two room house made of wooden slates with no electricity or running water. Darline is a farmer, growing corn and beans. “I work in the field. I plant things. When they grow, I sell them,” she explains. When asked if she and her partner make enough to support themselves and their child, Darlines says, “It depends; sometimes I make about 1,000 gourds [$18 USD], or maybe 5,000 gourds [$89 USD],” in three months, “sometimes I make less.” Darline adds that most days she worries about her son going hungry.
Darline had hoped to be a nurse and was attending school, but dropped out when she became pregnant at age 20, saying “I had to quit school because I was pregnant.” She adds that she didn’t know how to prevent pregnancy before she became pregnant. It was a community health agent named Jema who taught Darline about family planning. Now she uses family planning and wants to have two children because, as Darline explains, “I don’t have the means to have more kids.” She adds that she wants her kids to complete school and become farmers or maybe even physicians.
When asked what advice she would give to other girls in Haiti, Darline says, “Don’t live my life. If the girl is at school, she can do [family] planning, continue with her studies and become somebody. It’s too late for me.”
“Don’t live my life. If the girl is at school, she can do [family] planning, continue with her studies and become somebody. It’s too late for me.”