We are thrilled to report that the construction of the Freedom Village is 99% complete. We have started hiring staff and are currently putting the finishing touches on the facility.
We will soon open the doors to girls ages 6 to 16 so they can heal, learn, and ultimately get to a place where they can help serve and care for others in Haiti.
It is estimated that there are over 300,000 restavek children in Haiti. These children are sold or given away by their parents because they simply have no resources to keep them alive. Restavek children are almost always forced to do hard physical work, are denied education and are physically abused.
When LiveDifferent’s Benjamin Cole Brown heard about this system of slavery, he vowed to do something about it, and together with our Haitian partners, created the idea for the Freedom Village in 2013. In 2015, with the help of our partners in Winnipeg, MB, the property was purchased. Tragically one year later, Cole died in a plane crash at 36 years old, but his legacy continues to be honoured by LiveDifferent and so many others. The construction began on the Freedom Village in 2018.
The Freedom Village will help bring young girls out of the restavek system and give them freedom, hope, education and an opportunity for a healthy future. As we come to the end of our construction journey for the Freedom Village, let’s reflect on how far we have come.
Creating a home
Working with our local partner, ASEEDH, not only do we include and employ local workers for our projects, but we also network with local leaders, government officials, community members and other organizations who may be working in the area, so that we can assure that all efforts and resources are maximized completely.
Through many struggles – such as significant currency fluctuations, fights for the opportunity of employment, the riots and unrest that followed the assassination of the Haitian president, as well as lack of fuel throughout Haiti – we were able to reach this incredible milestone.
“I already imagine this protected space filled with kindness and laughter of little girls who are finally happy,“
Michelle Guillaume, Manager of Operations in Haiti.