“Life is a game; sometimes you are a winner while other times you are a looser. Neither situation is your choice; someone else has put you where you are.”- Nathacha
My mother died when I was a little boy so I lived with my aunt who mistreated me a lot. I didn’t know my father but we lived in his area of town. As I started to grow up he was introduced to me and I learned he was married to another woman before I was born; he has two daughters with her. His daughters finished high school and are attending university. I was fourteen years old when I started school because I had no possibility of attending, if it weren’t for Restavek Freedom Foundation I would never have gotten the chance. I wouldn’t be able to write my name or have a dream for the future. Now I am 17 and in 3rd grade. Sometimes, when I think about the big difference between me and my sisters who are “legitimate children” I feel like I hate myself; I feel vulnerable and I don’t know how to deal with that situation. I have trouble with others and fight; it’s the only way I know to express myself.
I couldn’t continue living with my aunt because I am grown and she continues to mistreat me. So I left her house to live in a tent with a woman I have no family relationship with. She has a young boy who is a part of Restavek Freedom’s program too. This woman makes a small amount of money washing clothes and can’t afford to feed me. She spends her money providing for her son. The only thing she can offer me is a place to sleep. Every day I ask friends and close family members for food, and struggle to make progress in my learning. Meanwhile, my father is living in a home with his wife and daughters.
My child advocate helped me understand that you can’t choose where you are but you can choose where you want to be. I know that it’s up to me to change my life and I want to do it. Attending school is one of the first steps I need to take in order to achieve my goal. When I grow up I want to become a mechanic and create a better future for myself. I want people to see me as a different person, because even if I look dangerous, inside on me I am a kind boy who needs to be loved and protected. I need someone I can count on. I didn’t find those things from the one who I expected to find them, but God sent me someone else (my child advocate) who helps me see things from a different perspective so that I can be a winner.
Thank you God for all of that!
Nathacha Lucien, Child Advocate