Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Restavek Crisis

Picture this.

You are we were born in the countryside among a small rural community in the country of Haiti.

As a small child you remember that you had a large family of 8 to 13 siblings.

Your family was extremely poor and though your parents loved you they knew they could not take care of even your most basic needs.

A distant relative who lived in Port Au Prince, approached your parents and promised them that you would be well fed, educated, and clothed in their care.

So your parents agreed to release you to them, for hope of a future and better life for you...

You arrived at your new home as a small child of 3 or 4 years old and quickly realized that everything promised to your parents was a lie.

Your "caretakers" forced you to work from dawn to dusk around the house.

You cooked, you cleaned and you took care of the dirtiest chores even as a child when you could barely understand what was happening.

As other children who grew up in the same house went to school, you stayed home, and were never educated, and sometimes never fed.

Often, the people you lived with would abuse you both sexually and violently.

You worked hard throughout the day in fear of your host family beating you with a whip if you didn't complete your chores well enough.

You lived off of food scraps from the rest of the household, and you were kept under the family table at night to sleep.

Until you turned 15 you were kept as a slave, and at that age you legally must be paid for your labor, so the family that kept you throughout your childhood now must set you free on the street.

You were left in the city, on your own without any possessions.
Any education.
Any job.
Any connections to anybody...

Guess what?

There are an estimated 300,000 children in Haiti RIGHT NOW that are being raised like this. They are called restaveks. Child slaves who have no rights, and are often treated like animals or property. Once they finally escape their dark childhood they are then faced with an adulthood filled with no hope of a successful job or any escape from poverty due to never having been educated.

This is the reality of Haiti right now.. With the unemployment rate at such high levels across the country, families are forced to give up their kids to a richer family. However there are no laws which strictly enforce any kind of humane treatment to these kids. The government is ashamed of these cases, so it is shoved under the rug and never dealt with.

However there are organizations such as the Restavec Freedom Foundation, which are fighting this epidemic! Here is a link to their website: http://www.restavekfreedom.org/

..On Sunday the whole group of missionaries, Larry and Me all took the day off and visited Wahoo beach resort. While me and the missionary Lucian were sitting on the beach, we had the pleasure to meet a woman who was apart of one of these restavek relief organizations. I listened as she told us of her passion for these kids, and how big a crisis this has become for Haiti!

In conclusion, I just want to ask all of you again to step up. Please pray for these beautiful children who suffer far greater then most of us can imagine. For the next 10 days I would like to ask all of you to devote 15 minutes of your day, set aside from all distractions and noise, to completely devote your attention to praying for these kids.. As brothers and sisters in Christ we need to bring the light of Jesus into a dark world, so lets take action and cry out to the One who CAN change and heal Haiti.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Lots of love!


1 comment:

JoshUA said...

I will try to do that!