Love & Learning: Catherine’s Story

When 10-year-old Catherine entered Restavek Freedom’s child advocacy program three years ago, she was living with her foster mother. At a young age, she was grappling with the loss of not one parent, but both.

Then, not long after entering Restavek Freedom’s program, Catherine experienced loss yet again: her foster mother moved to Canada. Although her foster mother stayed in touch, Catherine was left in the care of her godmother.

“The big problem for a child who is in a restavek situation is that this child is not able to receive the same love, the same treatment, and the same privilege as a child who lives with his biological parents. Host parents most of the time don’t care about the evolution of the child, about what can make the child feel good,” said Alexis, Catherine’s child advocate. “But sometimes, there are some children who live in restavek who have a better life than when they live with their biological parents.”

Fortunately, Catherine’s godmother takes good care of her, and through Restavek Freedom’s child advocacy program, she now has the opportunity to go to school.

“Before entering the program, Catherine never went to school,” said Alexis. “With the opportunity to be part of the program, she has made good progress in her learning.”

Now, at 13 years old, Catherine is doing well on her exams. She makes good grades, and her favorite subject in school is math.

“Catherine is a very wise little girl,” said Alexis. “Her wisdom makes her unique.”

It’s not all work and no play for Catherine, however. Like any child should, she has hobbies and interests outside of her schooling. “She enjoys listening to gospel music and playing hide and seek,” Alexis shares. “As a favorite activity, she also likes to watch videos on YouTube.”

Support from friends like you helps our team in Haiti advocate for and protect the childhood of children like Catherine. To learn more and get involved, visit restavekfreedom.org.

Emily Iddings

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