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It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men -- Frederick Douglass

Jul
8

2013 June Newsletter

 Uncategorized
June 30, 2013
Dear Friends:

April and May 2013 were two of our busiest months in Haiti: Progress on the upcoming film,First Communion, sensitizing school children and radio programs.

The directors and producer who are committed to make a movie based on my books, Restavecand My Stone of Hope came to join me in Haiti. I accompanied them to various places,including my birth village in search of possible locations to shoot parts of the film. They arenow in the process of pre-production, having selected an actress to play the villain.

Fifteen children received their First Communion. I cannot convey the poignant joy I felt seeingtheir teachers accompany them to church and later taking pictures of them at the altar. Whenthey saw me in church they could not stop smiling. In Haiti, a child participating in this traditionknows that she is a valuable member of society.

In mid May I spoke at four different schools in Port-au-Prince and donated one hundred copiesof Restavec, my first book, to students who were chosen by teachers as future leaders of theircommunity.

When Restavec was published twelve years ago, I was often criticized forhavingexposed "Haiti’s dirty laundry” to the world, but now I am often welcomed as a specialguest on TV and radio programs, and as a speaker at schools and universities. I am so pleasedthat my interviews are rebroadcast on various radio stations. We are making great progress onthe issue of child servitude with the support of Haiti’s media. This confirms that the mentality ischanging.During the last week of May, we made a video of 500 school children singing LanbiKonnen, (You Tube) the song in the DVD that we produced in 2011 to sensitize the Haitianpublic. We plan to distribute this new recording to other schools and encourage them to teachthe song to their students. A school serving 3000 students will begin teaching the song inOctober 2013. Our goal for the next five years is to have 500,000 or more children learn thesong in order to change the mentality that is perpetuating child slavery. We want toaccomplish this by having radio stations invite schools to participate in singing contests. Aseries of prizes such as laptops, gallons of paint, blackboards, potable water and school supplieswill be awarded. We will need to purchase the prizes and pay for advertising.

A former Haitian ambassador to the United Nations suggested the idea of using a powerful songto stop the spread of child slavery following my speech on child servitude in Switzerland in 2004.It took me six years to come up with the right song. On January 2010, following the earthquakethat killed nearly 300,000 people, forcing thousands of orphaned children into servitude, Ivisited a Haitian poet, Marie-Carmel Perodin, who composed Lanbi Konnen, (The conch shellsounds, in reference to colonial slaves who sounded the call of freedom by blowing in theconch shell). To this day, the song is being played in several radio and TV stations in Haiti.Because most children in public schools have no access to radio and television, it is imperativethat they learn the song. This is the new challenge facing the Foundation, and your contributionto this invaluable project will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jean-Robert Cadet


lbs3399 Do you have any upcoming trips to Haiti for individuals who might be interested in actively participating in your cause?
Oct 14 at 10:36am
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If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
One of an estimated 300,000 Haitian children enslaved in child labor.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
From an isolated, rural area of Haiti where there are no schools, no electricity, no running water and few possibilities for the future.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Living in the city with a family who is not your own -- not as a foster child, but as their servant.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Between the ages of 5 and 15, and missing out on your childhood.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Three times more likely to be a girl than a boy.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Up at dawn, before any member of the family you serve, to begin preparing for their day, and in bed well after most other children are asleep.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Responsible for preparing the household meals, fetching water from the local well, cleaning inside and outside the house, doing laundry and emptying bedpans.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Getting no pay for any of these activities.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Unable to see your family or remember where they live.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Unable to attend school consistently, if at all -- depending on your owner's financial situation and schedule.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Hungry, as you would probably not get enough to eat or food with enough nutritional value for someone who works hard all day.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely be:
Subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
If you were a restavek child, you would most likely:
Never have all of your rights as a child respected.
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