Children In Haiti

Hunger and Malnutrition,
Child Exploitation

Haitian Children

Photo by Troy Fallaise, used with permission

Children in Haiti suffer many daily challenges. They constantly face the effects of hunger and malnutrition from a diet lacking in basic protein, and are lucky if they can find one good meal a day. Contaminated food and drinking water can cause cholera and other diseases. Parents of these children in poverty unknowingly turn their children over to a life of child labour.

Haitian Restaveks

Child labour abuse through child slaves known as "restaveks," affects almost 400,000 Haitian children. Restavek is a Creole term from the French rester avec, meaning "to stay with" or "to remain with." Unfortunately, it more accurately describes a child living as a house slave. Children as young as 4 or 5 up to age 18 are Haitian restaveks. Three quarters of them are girls.

Broken Promises

When all is lost at home through crop failure or sickness, animals are sold to buy medicines and food. When these resources are gone, the only way to provide for these destitute children of Haiti is by sending them to live with families in the cities with the promise of food, shelter, education, and a better life. In many cases, these promises are not reality. This child exploitation subjects many to a life of verbal and physical abuse and mistreatment.

Lack of education, job training and opportunity keeps them from moving forward. They struggle with poor social skills and emotional development as a result of their harsh treatment and separation from family. Having no way to contact their families and not wanting to stay with cruel employers, many of these children go to the streets to live.

Haitian Street Kids

Once on the streets, these displaced children of Haiti are forced to steal, beg and become involved in violence. They also become slaves of a different nature as child sexual exploitation leads them to a life of prostitution in order to survive.

Many suffer from hunger and malnutrition, contract STDs and HIV/AIDS or end up in prison. It is estimated that there are 10,000 Haitian street children, up to 8,000 alone in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

It's not hard to see why our friends, Marlene and Daniel Alix, the founders/directors of Faith and Love in Action Orphanage, were moved to action by taking in homeless girls to their own home from the streets of Port-au-Prince 17 years ago. Since that time, their ministry has evolved into an orphanage that houses 75 children, both girls and boys of all ages.

We can also appreciate how relieved they were to finally be able to move all the children from Port-au-Prince to the much safer area of Jacmel.

HIV/AIDS Orphaned Children

Haitian boy with plaintain leaf healing remedy.

Haitian Boy With Plaintain Leaf Healing Remedy
Photo by Troy Fallaise, used with permission

Like their African descendents, Haitians face the many struggles of HIV/AIDS as it continues to spread across the country. As of 2006, an estimated 250,000 were diagnosed with this dread disease, and we can assume many more undiagnosed cases exist as well. It is the main cause of death among Haitian women in their reproductive years.

There are approximately 200,000 HIV/AIDS orphaned children and at least 12,000 of these children in Haiti are infected themselves.

A country facing little or no health care run by corrupt governments, leaves children in Haiti living in poverty, vulnerable to so many challenges.

The Julia Project Foundation wants to make a difference in the lives of these hurting Haitian children by providing Haiti Orphanage Relief.

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Julia and Jill Carty, Founder of The Julia Project

Julia, our charity's namesake, and I extend a warm welcome to you.
—Jill Carty, Founder

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