Darline, a 20-year-old born in the department of Nippes, was separated from her siblings after the death of her mother and father. Sadly she has no contact with them and does not know where they are living.
After the death of her parents, Darline’s godmother took her to live with her. She promised Darline that she would continue to send her to school, and make new friends, have new dresses, new shoes and a better life than before. This was not true.
Instead, Darline rose early each day (around 4:00am) and worked until late in the night (10:00pm or later). She fetched water; cooked, made the bed, cleaned, and cared for her godmother’s two boys all before breakfast. Then she took the boys to school and hoped to make it to her school on time. Darline was consistently late or missed school entirely since it was a long distance away from the boys’ school. She had no books or school supplies, and no time to study.
When she got home from school she repeated the same chores. No one spoke to her or loved her. Everyone ignored her. Her god mother only acknowledged her when she mistreated her, beat her and humiliated her. Darline was suffering and felt like her life had no meaning.
Fortunately, her life started to change soon after she was enrolled in the Child Advocacy program. She was able to leave her godmother’s house and move to a safer location. She met her Advocate who talked with her, encouraged her, and helped her to understand she had a bright future. Darline began school with a new uniform, shoes, books and supplies. She was also given the time she needed to excel in her school work.
Now she is a shy but strong 8th grader who is comfortable in school and is working hard to create a positive life. She is grateful for Restavek Freedom’s support and hopes to be able to help other children who have had a bad life one day.
During the two years I have been Darline’s Child Advocate, I have seen her become a brave young woman. She has gone through many struggles, but is finally feeling good and happy. She is very thankful and feels lucky to be in the program. I am so happy that we were able to help Darline!
Frantso Sagesse, Child Advocate