"There are an estimated 1.2 Million vulnerable children in Haiti."
YOUNG CHILDREN AT RISK:
Roughly one in ten Haitian girls between the ages of five and eighteen are separated from their families to enter into a life of forced domestic servitude. These girls are responsible for most household responsibilities; they are often the first to wake up in the morning and the last to go to sleep at night. Among their required chores are the following: hand washing of the family’s clothing, ironing, preparing meals over an open charcoal stove, cleaning, caring for school-age children and fetching gallons of water from the neighborhood well, among others.
In many cases, these young girls are horribly exploited or abused; they are not paid and often have no other alternative to the treatment inflicted upon them by their masters. Unfortunately, many Haitian families have no choice but to send their daughters into this lifestyle, as there are too many mouths to feed at home. Seldom are these young women given the opportunity to attend school, receive any form of medical treatment, or receive the nutrition and nurturing that all children need to be successful in life.
Due to the harsh treatment, separation from family, and lack of a social network, most of these young girls never develop the social or emotional skills that they need. Their lack of familial support and a social network keeps them from asking for help during difficult economic and emotional times; unfortunately, due to the circumstances, some of these young girls may become pregnant. When they do become pregnant, most young women are removed from their masters’ homes and are forced into domestic sex work (or, prostitution). In these cases, their children may be forced to become another generation of forced domestic workers.
The lack of strong male role models throughout Haiti puts young men at a particularly high risk for falling into drug and alcohol abuse, gang activity, and male prostitution. These young men have no access to education and are forced to spend their days attempting to find something to do in order to be able to eat at night. Many are influenced by the gang activity in their communities and become subject to a life of slavery to their addictions.
Our work is focused on providing children with the means to an education, with nutrition and nourishment, and with the adequate medical care that they need to prevent and fight off illnesses. We are called to care for the children that need our help the most – many of whom would otherwise have no access to an education or to a means of following their dreams to be successful in life. We believe that all children deserve to be cared for, and that God is using our organization to be His hands and feet in Haiti.
Please consider partnering with us and providing children with the opportunities of education, nutrition and medical care!