MFK 2011 Employee of the Year Jean-Marie

Pétion Jean-Marie doesn’t talk much when he mops. Wearing a set of navy blue scrubs, he cleans and dusts one of MFK’s storage depots in solitude. He’ll share his wide grin, but he’s not a fan of jokes during work or idle chit-chat. He wants to do his job and do it well.

Since 2007 53-year-old Jean-Marie has woken up before dark to take a tap-tap or public bus to MFK each day. His salary helps him support his family and pay for his three children’s schooling. Jean-Marie sorts boxes of raw materials- peanuts, powdered milk and the supplements that make up Medika Mamba- he loads them to trucks and a storage depot. Jean-Marie then makes sure the depot is swept, mopped, and kept tidy. Passing motorcycles, busses, and cars stir up dust, meaning his job is a constant task.

Jean-Marie says he is glad for the work. He’s one of 30 Haitians employed at MFK in a country where most of the population has no formal job. Before he worked with us Jean-Marie came to the MFK factory day after day, promising to work hard if employed. When MFK finally made the smart move and hired him everyone was amazed at his incredible work ethic.

Jean-Marie has an incredible story and has been involved in all sorts of work. At one point he planted tobacco in the Dominican Republic for an American company. For two years he rowed a boat and caught fish. “Fishing is fine,” he said in Creole, “When you’re not old.”

On the weekends, he and his wife run a small shop that sells necessities like beans, rice, and oil. He hopes to save money between the two jobs so his family can have a little security. Jean-Marie wants to be part of MFK’s growth. With a new factory and more supplies, Jean-Marie said he’s excited to see MFK expand. “I want us to serve all the children of Haiti,” he said.

He thinks on his life as he mops quietly. He said his tranquility comes from his faith in God and a simple approach to his job: “Work is for working.”