As I sat and listened to Rosena Share, I was struck by how fortunate I was to witness this small miracle. Rosena is a beautiful young woman who has been in a Restavek Freedom Transitional home since she was taken out of her life in Restavek. Her story is a hard one, as is the story of every child in Restavek. Many of these children are working long hours, abused, and taught in direct and indirect ways that they don't matter...that they are alone.

But on this day, surrounded by her family of sisters and caregivers, it was hard to imagine that her life would hold anything other than hope and promise. Articulate, strong, and full of laughter, she was helping dedicate Restavek Freedom's second transitional home! Rosena emulated the reason we had gathered from all across Haiti and the United States in this little town in the south of the island. She represents the story of hope and love we want all children to experience. 

During the dedication ceremony, Pastor Bilda, our Director of Church and Community Mobilization, shared with us the urgent need to address this issue of child slavery in Haiti. His passion for ending the restavek system is contagious, and he gave an impassioned defense of our belief that we can end this practice in our lifetime. [read more] By working and fighting together, he believed we can see a new Haiti without the restavek system. 

Our Transitional Home Director, Adeline Bien-Amie, also shared why her heart was so passionate. She expressed how precious these girls are, and why she treats them as family. She knows what it is life to have to live in someone else's home and work for them, and now she provides a sense of belonging for the girls in our homes. 

It was a moving ceremony as we celebrated this new home and all those who made it possible through their support and service. I believe we all left with hearts a little warmer as Rosena concluded, "On behalf of the girls, I want to thank you all for building this beautiful house. If this house is possible today, it's because of you." 

*Name changed to protect child's identity.