Street Child
CARF - Children At Risk Foundation
Street Child
Street Child
Street Child
BIENVENUE and Welcome! CARF aims to diminish the vulnerability of street children wherever there is a need, restoring their rights to be protected from abuse and performing work that is likely to be hazardous to or interfere with their education, or be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Haiti has many such neglected children and through existing programmes we offer support for some of these children's needs through education, arts, culture and sports, resulting in a better quality of life.
Street Child
Street Child
SPECIAL APPEAL — Street Children's Relief Work in Haiti

Slavery ended in Haiti in 1804, but nearly two hundred years later slavery continues to exist in Haitian society under a new name, restavek, the Kreyol word meaning "stay with". Restavek is Haiti's form of child domestic work, resulting in no less than 300.000 child slaves. After years of maltreatment and abuse, many of these children will eventually be abandoned to the streets, weak and ineligible to live any normal life.

Through the exploitation of African slaves, Europeans in their colonies and the European market itself, flourished from the profitable plantations, the profit-creating slaves and the siphoning of money into the European market.

Today, the availability of resources in Haiti is scarce and the standard of living is low, making this one the most impoverished and underdeveloped nations in the world, where people live in stark deprivation and terror. The country lacks a steady economy and political stability. It’s tragic inability to enforce important laws leaves street children and restaveks totally unprotected and abandoned by society.

Unlike the visible street children, constantly appearing in public places and thereby accessible for investigation and aid, restaveks are hidden away in the private realm of the home, a social space controlled by masters, hindering any chances they have of being helped. Because this space is private, child domestics are difficult to reach, count, investigate or rescue.

10 year old Josiméne, a restavek girl - Photo by Gigi Cohen "On average, restaveks work eighteen hours a day, seven days a week, have extremely poor health, nutrition, low educational attainment and their living conditions are appalling. They sleep on the bare floor or on a mat on the floor next to their master's bed or under the kitchen table. They use an old rolled up dress as a billow or a blanket. Restaveks wear dirty, old clothing and shoes with holes in them, sometimes too big for their small bodies. Also, they are permitted to bathe only once a week. While these children prepare meals for their masters, they are not allowed to eat with the family and must wait until everyone finishes and leaves the table in order to eat the leftovers from the meal that he or she cooked. The master requires that the child domestic use a specific plate, cup, and fork, made out of tin and bent out of shape. The restavek must wash and store these utensils separately, perhaps for a fear that he or she will contaminate the rest of the family's "good" dining equipment. The child is further separated from social life as the restavek spends virtually the entire day indoors unless he or she is fetching water, cleaning chamber pots, or visiting the market. And while indoors, he or she sits in isolation when not doing chores. These children are not allowed to speak unless their owners speak to them or permit them to speak. In addition to the daily schedule and tasks and the living conditions, these children suffer great physical and emotional danger, are beaten, tortured, raped, falsely accused and verbally assaulted." — Recollections by a former restavek, Jean-Robert Cadet 1998 in his autobiography, Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American

Excerpts from a thesis by Annie Vardanian titled: "Children, Childhood, and Child Labor: Shedding New Light on the Marginalization and Social Agency of the Child and the Period of Childhood Through an Examination of Child Labor"

If you would like to contribute towards bettering the needs of Haitian Street Children and Restavek Children, then Please make a secure online donation using one of the PayPal Buttons below. Your donations will be confirmed by e-mail. – THANK YOU!

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