LiveDifferent Stories: Keke and Mina
Keke is 10, and his sister Mina is 7 years old. During the day, both children spend their days at home while their mother sells fruit and vegetables in the street nearby; however, Keke plays an especially large role in his sister’s life. Everyday, while his mother is out, Keke prepares meals for his little sister and himself. Today, Keke was cooking rice and beans in the stove-pot atop the makeshift cooker filled with charcoal that you can see to his right.
Their mother’s job has taken them back and forth between Haiti regularly, but recently, the family has stayed put on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic and are in the process of gathering the appropriate documentation to register as citizens, in light of the highly publicized struggle between Haiti and the DR with residency and citizenship. Lack of documents presents many problems for natives of both countries, as they can face issues with employment, education, and access to health care, just to name a few issues. Keke and Mina represent a great number of undocumented Haitian and Dominican children who have been forced to grow up so quickly, but one day will hopefully have the citizenship papers that will give their families access to the resources that they need.
LiveDifferent Stories: Casley and Kitson
Kitson is a 13 year-old orphan who grew up on the streets of Cap-Haitien. Four years ago, he was involved in a street fight where he was attacked with a broken glass bottle, and he lost sight in his left eye and was scarred across his face. Last year, he was taken in to live in the home of a local family. He now lives in the same community as Casley and they attend the school together.
Everyday at school. when the other kids are playing outside, Kitson dedicates his recess to looking after Casley inside, feeding him and spending time with him. He doesn’t do this because he is asked, he does this because he and Casley are best friends. Though the two of them haven’t spent much time together outside of school, the two cannot be separated when they are in the classroom. Their bond is unbreakable. These two share a genuine sense of kindness, friendship, and mutual respect. This is such a powerful example of how the most unlikely of friendships can create the most beautiful stories.