The Need: To Be Loved

Each morning in Haiti, children wake up and face another day without hope. They labour away on chores for families that will never accept them as one of their own and do not know what it feels like to be loved—all because they are Restaveks. For these children, the journey that leads them to pain and suffering follows a familiar path.

It often begins with the birth of a child into a poor, rural family. High birth rates in the countryside make it difficult for families to provide for all of their children, so it has become common for parents to send their kids away into the surrounding cities to stay with relatives or strangers. While they dream that their child will attend school and have a better life, this is rarely the case. What awaits these children is hardship, neglect, and, in the worst cases, physical and sexual abuse. These children are known as Restaveks.

One out of every fifteen children in Haiti tragically walks this well-worn trail into life as a Restavek. But on the side of a mountain, just outside of Cap-Haïtien, ground has been broken and a new path is being created. We invite you to play a part in the restoration and healing of girls who have experienced extremely abusive pasts. With your help, they can ascend the hill and find a safe place to heal, grow, and flourish.

Restavek means to “stay with” and is a system that traps children into a life of slavery.

The Project: Freedom Village

The Freedom Village will provide a safe, home environment for girls who need to heal. Up to thirty girls will finally know what it feels like to stay with someone who cares about them and will have access to education, counsellors, life-skills training, and the support needed to thrive.

The majority of the property will be made up of beautiful buildings that will house these girls in a family-style setting with a common area for eating. Security will be a priority and the Freedom Village will be surrounded by walls and guarded 24/7. A guest house will be built on a separate section of the property which will generate income that will be used towards programming and rehabilitation.