Abolishing child trafficking within an entire community from the inside out.
In a community where the earthquake did it's worst, this group of women have seen the tragic reality of Haitian Resteveks (child house slaves). They have joined together to advocate for these children. Each member goes out into their respective neighborhoods to identify the children that are victimized, they identify their needs, then work together to fulfill those needs. Many of these children are not attending school, have little to eat, and some even lack clothing. Not only are they changing the lives of these Restevek children, but they are shifting the community perspective about the worth of souls.
The local pastor has seen an influx of Haitian refugees, most of them single moms with many children. These mothers are struggling just to feed their children and have no way to purchase the uniforms needed for their children to attend school. The children were running the streets causing trouble and were at extreme risk for being trafficked. The pastor and his wife opened up their church to provide free education and a meal for these impoverished refugee children. There is a direct link to the decrease in child human trafficking by offering a free meal and an education to these children. (free meal brings them to the education) The single mothers have hope for a better life for their children and are less likely to give their children away in hopes that they have a better life elsewhere.
The community leader started this school under a tree because conditions were desperate and they had no other options for schooling. Illiteracy limits capacity, and options for survival are few. In this community the literacy rate is so low that the youth are trafficking themselves into slave like conditions for the lack of better options. This initiative is to empower the youth with tools necessary to obtain a job with humane work conditions.
This school is creating a culture of connection and unity, as well as a community of care.
Pay it Forward
In a culture that teaches that it is every man, woman, and child, for themselves, people are willing to turn a blind eye to the human trafficking issue. In this program, a family is given a ewe by another family in the community. The giving family will teach the receiving family how to care for and breed their new lamb. Because the first lamb was given to them at someone else's sacrifice, it is the receiving family's duty to sacrifice and give their first born sheep to a family that doesn't have one. From that point forward, they can keep all the offspring and begin to expand their herd and their wealth. This program not only lifts a family out of poverty, but instills the principle of paying it forward and helping others.