STAFF PROFILE: Meet Nadine
Nadine began working with Restavek Freedom five years ago, but she became a friend of Restavek Freedom long before that.
“In 2006, I was one of [Restavek Freedom’s] first English students. I became very close to the RF program and even got a scholarship to study in the USA,” she remembers. Nadine studied human development and TESOL before returning to Haiti. “I came back to work with RF and follow my dream as a teacher [and] coordinator of [RF’s] educational program,” she says.
A typical day for Nadine involves teaching English classes at Restavek Freedom’s Port Salut learning center and making sure the classes at the center are running smoothly. This can include registering new students, ordering books, planning and grading assignments and tests, and planning events like graduation.
“I enjoy teaching,” Nadine says. “I think I contribute to the development of Haiti by teaching how to speak English. I think I am proving that, because without the English program, I wouldn’t know how to speak English.
Sometimes, Nadine also helps with other children’s programs, like summer camp. “Working with children, especially during summer, is a great opportunity that we give those children [for] playing, eating, and learning.”
Nadine is passionate about her work and about the people she helps through Restavek Freedom. “I have always wanted to be a teacher, since high school,” she tells us. “I think working with RF is one of the greatest things that can happen in my life – to know I am working in an organization that sees children in need, because my country has a lot of problems and RF is there to help those in need, especially children.”
Having worked with Restavek Freedom for the past five years, Nadine has many students she is proud of. “Some of them are already an English teacher or travel abroad with the English that they received here in our English program,” she shares. “I know six of them who are English teachers and teaching English in high school.”
When asked what she wishes more people understood about the issue of restavek, Nadine’s answer is full of compassion: “I want people to know about the situation Haitian families are facing when they send a child to live with a host parent,” she says.
“Sometimes poor Haitian families have no choices. They think [sending their child away] will help them, especially when they have too many children. It is a betrayal from the host families to abuse the child: the biological families have no clue [that the child is being treated this way].”
For all of the donors and friends who have supported Restavek Freedom’s work in Haiti over the years, Nadine has a special message: thank you. “I would like to thank you all and anyone who dedicates their time, energy, and financial support to help Haiti. May God continue to bless each of you.”
We are so thankful to have dedicated and passionate people like Nadine on our team to help fight for social justice and show the children we serve that they are not alone.
To learn more about Nadine and our team in Haiti, visit restavekfreedom.org.