The children of Haiti represent the worst tragedy in a nation of tragedy. Thousands of children roam the city streets searching for food and shelter. They have been abused, live in very difficult conditions, doing add jobs, begging and even thieving, and are now exposed to disease, starvation, and crippling poverty. Most of these children are orphans, or children from dysfunctional families. Some are also fleeing arbitrariness and abuse in domestic service. The street is a way to escape abuse of all kinds. They have suffered an ugly past, and face an apparently futile future. One such boy is Schneiderson, a 15 year old orphan living in the squalor of Port au Prince. He stole a phone to sell it for food, but was caught and served 7 months jail-time. After release, he sought out the judge, honorable Bernard St-Vil, and asked, “Your honor, I don’t want to steal anymore. Please send me back to jail where I can eat, sleep, bathe, and go to school’. Judge St-Vil responded, “Jail is for people who commit crime, and ordered Institut du Bien Etre Social Et de Recherches “IBESR” to care for him. Schneiderson and so many others need help which we could give if you would help us.
So we join the voices of the street children of Haiti, particular girls in domestic servitude “restavek” who cry out, HELP! HELP!
These are the harsh, life-and-death issues that have brought children to At Risk school program. At Risk Children ‘the kids school program provides the poorest of the poor with benefits they may never otherwise receive — Health care surveillance, food supplement; educational opportunities; and job training programs that promise a better future. “I sometimes wonder how many children we are saving from a life of slavery,” says Dr. Norman Carroll former Chairman of ARCF. “I know in my heart that a good percentage of our kids would have no other option but to go that route if we were not here.