Restavek Freedom Foundation

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Dear Diary

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My name is Ginia Joseph. I’m 15 years old. My mother died when I was very young. Since her death, I have lived with my godmother because my father was sick and had some difficulty raising me. In April 2012 he passed away and I went to live with my godmother. I felt reduced and vulnerable. I couldn’t stop crying when people couldn’t see me. I cried on the street, when I was walking to school alone and on foot, and in the classroom, when the students went to take a break at home. I did chores without help from anyone. I was so sad.

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dear Diary,

Day by day my godmother becomes worse. She doesn’t want to feed me anymore. She can’t stop yelling at me, beating me for everything. She lets me go to school, but five or six Km on foot; if I had 10 gourds to pay the tap tap it wouldn’t be that difficult. I leave my house at 7 AM for school, after doing all my morning work. The walk gives me the sweats and my shoes are completely covered with dust by the time I get there. Before a month is over I will have to change shoes, but I don’t know where I could find money to buy another pair. Sometimes my godmother asks me to leave, to go away, but I stay because I have nowhere else to go.

I know I‘m a very intelligent, beautiful girl, both externally and internally. I study very hard to make sure I’m always the top of my class. Because I’m pretty, I find I have so many propositions from boys who want me to be their girlfriend. They want to help me by giving me money so that I can buy whatever things I want and need. I admit that I am tempted by their propositions. Many girls in my situation would accept them. I’m not better than other girls; I’m only not ready to accept the fast solution. I want to challenge myself, to see if I can obtain my goal by myself.

In fact when I think about my life, I realize that God exists and He cares about me. I think that we suffer because many people in the world don’t live by the golden rule; they let themselves be influenced by evil and do bad things to others. I can see that God loves me and everyone else, when looking at everything that has happened in my life. Every day I wake up and I see the sun. I have found someone that will help me with food, pay my schooling, and support my intelligence to learn so that I always succeed. This is wonderful. It is a miracle.

Many things happen in our daily lives and often we don’t take the time to realize how much God loves us, protects us and blesses us. I want to continue to challenge myself by making progress on my learning. I know that my success depends on my effort to work hard even with the daily challenges that come with living in restavek. I believe that God will continue to protect me, giving me strength and joy.

- Ginia

 

In the world people suffer for different reasons, and I know that happens in everyone’s life. We always ask why that happens to us. Sometimes we think God is responsible for our misfortune. Because we know He has the power, He is love; we can’t understand how He could let us suffer if He exists. After too much thinking without satisfaction, we decide by ourselves not to give up like some other people and try to see how we can deal with pain, with trouble, with sufferings so as to be stronger.

- Nathacha Lucien, Ginia’s Child Advocate

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