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.