Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Because we know we don't do this alone...

We are well aware that Be the Change would not exist if not for the support from people all over. That being said, we want to pass on a few more words of thanks that we received this week from the Restavek Freedom Foundation in Haiti.

Thank you again for your support and generosity towards the Restavek Foundation. The team in Haiti and many others have benefited greatly from your blankets!!! What a blessing they have been. also, several children in Restavek prior to the quake and numerous children since the disaster have slept more comfortable by your acts of kindness. You will never know how much the blankets have meant to the people we have given them to. For some it is the only thing they have. Many Thanks, Restavek Staff, Joan, John Robert

All of our staff survived, for which we are very thankful. Roslyn Phillips, our child sponsorship coordinator, has emerged as a true leader in our efforts to find our children, even though she experienced the loss of her father during the quake. Ray and Roslyn are working with our school directors to see if we can open school again because children have nothing to do and families need to feel that life is happening. We also want to make sure the children are fed at least once a day.

This week, we are meeting with all of our school directors to see how we begin the process of restarting school. The national schools will not open for some time as many are destroyed and others will need to employ teachers to replace those that have died.

We rented a very large house that we will need to furnish to use as transitional housing for 30 children. Staff are being hired to help manage this for us. Some are coming from the U.S. and others are friends we know from Haiti. Jean Robert is helping coordinate this effort because he knows best what these children need. Our English program in Port Salut, supported by the H.E.A.R. Foundation, has provided several translators for medical doctors on the ground in Port au Prince. They all volunteered their time and felt honored to be able to contribute something to the relief effort.

Every day Jean Robert goes out to see how children in restavek are being treated. He comes upon some very sad and disturbing situations. We cannot rescue all of these children, but we report what we see to UNICEF and other organizations working on this issue. Many people are collaborating on the issue of restavek and hopefully something good will come from this terrible tragedy.

We will never be able to express our gratitude to all of you who have donated to our efforts. Your support and concern has kept us going.
Joan Conn, Executive Director of the Restavek Foundation

Thank you for continuing to support these very vulnerable children in Haiti.

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