Sunday, January 17, 2010


By now you are well aware of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday 1/12/2009. You have likely seen the pictures and heard the heartbreaking stories. Many of you may remember that Be the Change has been working with the Restavek Freedom Foundation, which works with children currently enslaved in Haiti, by working with their "owners" providing funding for an education, basic health care needs, mentorship, etc. As of Wednesday, all the staff in Haiti, including the founder and CEO of Restavek Freedom were safe and outside of Port-au-Prince. However Restavek Freedom works with over 300 enslaved children in this country and 44% of them lived inside and around Port-au-Prince. The grim reality there is that they have not yet accounted for all of the children in their program.

Natural disasters like become a haven for those looking to take advantage and exploit the weakest of society, mainly the children. Natural disasters create chaos and large numbers of unaccounted for and unattended to children. Meaning they can simply be taken, and assumed dead. That is the reality for children in Haiti right now. It is the goal of the Restavek Freedom Foundation to reach out and support the children that are lost or in urgent need of care. Staff from Restavek Freedom are already mobilized on the ground, ready to work on behalf of these children. They need our help now more than ever.

Many of you attended our hands on Be the Change event last January 31st. If you sat and lovingly knotted together a blanket for a child slave in Haiti, you have a connection to a child there and may not even realize it. Shipping to Haiti is nearly impossible and for that reason all of the blankets that were sent to these enslaved children were taken by hand into the country by Restavek staff. It took a long time to do this, and in fact the last container of blankets was just taken into Haiti on Monday, January 11, 2010. One day before the earthquake. In my correspondence with the CEO of Restavek, she sent me this e-mail today:

"Just know that your blankets are saving many people from sleeping on the ground. We are so thankful we got that container on Monday before the quake hit."

We had no idea at the time just how needed these blankets would be. Joan will eventually send us pictures, but as I am sure you can understand, she just does not have the time right now.

Be the Change has again partnered with the Restavek Freedom Foundation to bring relief to these vulnerable children. You can send a donation to Be the Change Foundation marked for disaster relief, and we will be sending 100% of that money to the Restavek Freedom Foundation, who will in turn be using 100% of that money for their relief work in Haiti. We are moving forward with our change campaign because post earthquake these children are at an even greater risk and need those sponsorship funds to meet their basic needs, including an education. However, any donations that comes to us now, marked for disaster relief, will be sent to Restavek Freedom Foundation immediately for the specific purpose of post earthquake relief. Please consider how you can shed some light into the very dark situation that our children in Haiti have been thrown into.

With Much Hope,
Be the Change Foundation Board,
Diane, Kim, Nicole, Kara and Cheryl

1 comment:

Terry said...

just returned from Ghana where slavery still happens too. I am so glad to read of the work you are supporting in Haiti. Thank you for continuing the call to do more and be the change you want to see in the world.