One day as I was visiting a school, I saw a young girl with an elderly woman in the school yard. The child smiled immediately upon seeing me and felt so happy she came over to speak with me. I was happy to make time to speak with her.
While we were speaking it became apparent that the elderly woman was the young girl’s grandmother. She began to explain the tragedy this child was living in; I was happy to listen. The child had lost her mother, her father and her little brother in the earthquake. She was trapped under rubble for many days. Her grandmother was concerned as she had no hope of working and didn’t know how to help her granddaughter attend school.
When I looked at the sweet girl standing in front of me with all the big scars on her face, and heard her grandmother explain her situation, I was deeply affected and wanted to help as much as possible. I quickly spoke with the school principal and completed all the formalities required to enroll Natalie in school.
Through my conversations with Natalie I understand that things are still very challenging for her. Her grandmother doesn’t have a job, and had to sell all the furniture in the house in order to purchase food. Despite all these problems, Natalie always has good results in school, and holds on to hope that things will change.
It’s always good for a person to be positive in life. Natalie has always held on to hope that her situation would change in the future; now it has. Through the support of a sponsor, Restavek Freedom Foundation is able to provide Natalie and her grandmother with meals and I am amazed to see she how much she has grown!
Natalie is fortunate that she has a strong relationship with her grandmother who accompanies her to school every day. Even though her grandmother can’t replace her mother, she has done her best to make her life happy; many children are not that fortunate in Haiti. Natalie is growing both physically and intellectually and is very happy. When I observe her in school now and see her smiling and running in the school yard it makes me feel proud. It’s always a pleasure for me to see her. This year she will go to the State Exam and is working hard to succeed.
The children in our program, like Natalie, are holding on to the hope for a brighter future; many of these children are awaiting sponsorship. To be the barer of hope in a child’s life please visit www.restavekfreedom.org/take-action
Francoise Leon, Child Advocate