#HerStory: Uraline Alphonse of Desruisseaux – a woman determined to rise

By Keithlin Caroo, Helen’s Daughters

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W.E.B Dubois once said “There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise” and that quote comes to mind when we introduce this month’s #HerStory feature – Mrs. Uraline Alphonse.

Hailing from the community of Desruisseaux, she was born into a family of farmers, but like many persons not having the opportunity to go to a secondary school, she went from job to job trying to make ends meet. After meeting her husband, they decided to go into business together to create a better future for their children – the thing is neither had the land to pursue their dreams.

Finally, learning that someone was selling property but not having the money for it, Uraline found a way to purchase the land – that was in 2005. For the last 13 years, Uraline and her husband have been able to provide for their family through farming and livestock, from planting tree crops to poultry, anything to make a dream come true. For the first six years, most of the profit was not used on themselves (they never paid themselves a salary for six years) but rather used the profit to extend the farm. Just recently, she bought a greenhouse to branch out into harvesting lettuce with the dreams of selling to hotels and restaurants islandwide.

The best part – her two children, a 6 year old and 12 year old – both help out on the farm (each earning a salary for their tasks.) In her mind, she believes that it would build a strong work ethic in her children and always pushes them to rely on themselves (never on handouts) to get what they need.

As she’s said: “Everything I do is for the future, I want to go on vacations and I do not want to rely on my children. As farmers we don’t have a pension and we don’t plan for it- but I do.”

Her dream: “ I want to have my farm as a model – use it for tours, agricultural projects, even maybe an orchard.” As they say a dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work – and if so, we think Uraline’s dreams are just in reach.

– Keithlin Caroo, Helen’s Daughters

*This is part of the #HerStory series from Helen’s Daughters. Every month, #HerStory will feature women involved in agriculture or agri-business ventures. Helen’s Daughters is a St. Lucian non-profit with a special focus on rural women’s economic development through improved market access, adaptive agricultural techniques and capacity-building. Helen’s daughters was formed in 2016 in a winning proposal for UN Women’s Empower Women Champions for Change Program.

To learn more about the initiative, you can visit:
Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/helensdaughters.slu/),
Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/helensdaughters.slu/)
Website (http://helensdaughters.org/)


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