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The Restavek: An Ugly Truth

Prepare yourself to meet the restavek: a Haitian child, admitted by parents into domestic servant labor agreements, due to the parent’s lack of access to funds and resources for supporting their children. This is not the most glamorous of subjects and as a blessed parent within a U.S. nuclear family I find such a choice unimaginable. However, sending children to other family members in exchange for access to necessities is quite common in some countries. Yet, the simple fact is that while many restaveks in Haiti commit upon the promise of access to provisions like food, shelter and education, many end up enslaved, tortured, beaten, and worse.

Here at Centro Y Sur, a component of our mission is to showcase the powerful philanthropic efforts taking place across Latin America, whether ecnumenical, non-profit or NGO in nature. Allow us to introduce you to The Restavek Foundation, a U.S. based non-profit out of Cincinnati, Ohio, whose crystal-clear, focused mission is simply to end child slavery in Haiti.

Changing a deeply entrenched cultural practice is a difficult mission which requires a thorough and holistic approach. In order to end child slavery in Haiti in our lifetimes, four guiding strategies direct all of our work: 1) individual children 2) global awareness 3) host communities and 4) biological families.

To learn more, please visit their website.

by: Jason Z. Guest