“We learned about the animals in Africa and I want to find a book about giraffes!” said Edlerson to Emmanuela, his Child Advocate at Restavek Freedom. He was jumping up and down with crackers in his hand, waiting for after-school tutoring to start at the Learning Center.

Edlerson, an eight-year-old who has been in RF’s Child Advocacy program for the past two years, wishes to escape into comfy chairs and books about giraffes, soccer and sharks. Not being able to look up a word in a dictionary or read more about a topic in his history class makes learning even more challenging than it already is for a boy without the support of his family. Life as a restavek is hard, books are rare and expensive, and there is not a single library anywhere near his hometown of Port Salut, Haiti.

“All of our teacher evaluations and student evaluations say over and over, ‘If we had books to read and reinforce our classes, we could advance much faster,’” says Emmanuela. “We need books in English for our adult students and French and Kreyol for our younger students and our community. So, we have started building shelves at the Learning Center and dreaming of a library.”

Can you imagine a childhood without books? Without the joy of comic books, stories of adventures, fairytales or riddles? Or doing research papers to finish high school without the privilege of reference books?

Books for students of all ages can help students grow in their literacy and knowledge and make jobs and degrees not just a dream but reality. Will you help us fill the shelves of our library?