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The family child care providers in All Our Kin’s network come from all walks of life. Some have been working with young children all their lives. Others, like Dionne Lamothe, an All Our Kin provider, have had long careers in other fields.
Dionne Lamothe was born in Saint Michel de l’Atalaye, a city located in the Central Plateau of Haiti, and she started singing when she was just four years old. “It is in my blood,” she told me at her home in December. “I was born with it, and nothing can stop that.” Even as a child, her talent was impossible to ignore.
By the time she was 20 years old, her voice was well known throughout Haiti, but as a woman singer, her path was limited. She wanted to perform with Haiti’s Big Bands – the most famous of which was called Bossa Combo – but at the time, “they never allowed a woman singer to do much.”
“I said, ‘Nuh, uh. That has to stop. I have this talent that God gave me.’ Other people didn’t like it, but then they heard me sing. They started saying, ‘this is great.’ I was one of the best in Haiti.” In the 1980s, Dionne became the first young woman singer to perform with Bossa Combo. “We went on tour all over. France, Canada, Florida, Chicago, New York, Canada, places with big Haitian communities. I sang in every language – English, French, Spanish, Creole.”
Click here to read the rest of Dionne's story at All Our Words, the blog of All Our Kin.