Beatrice is free, back home, and in school now.
Thank you for your generous support for the Schools Not Slavery Initiative in rural Haiti. You are making a difference in the lives of girls like 11-year-old Beatrice, who was freed from domestic slavery, returned home to her family in the village of Nan Kafe, and enrolled in a quality school.
A just-completed household survey conducted in six of the nine communities on the island of Lagonav where the Schools Not Slavery Initiative is working found that 97.1% of school-aged children like Beatrice are in school -- that's compared to an average of just 72.8% for rural children nationally in Haiti.
Thanks to you, more and more children like Beatrice are enrolled in quality schools near where they live, and their parents are getting the help they need to raise them at home, instead of sending them away to live with other families where they risk becoming enslaved.
"We're encouraged by these results and what they mean for vulnerable girls and boys and their families in rural Haiti," said Beyond Borders' Executive Director David Diggs. "But we've got more work to do. We are continuing to invest in new strategies that will help our partners in all the communities where we work to ensure that every child is in school," he added. The same household survey will be conducted later this year in the three remaining communities where Schools Not Slavery works.
Beatrice told Beyond Borders' Freda Catheus, who coordinates the Schools Not Slavery Initiative on Lagonav Island, that it's her wish too that every child could be free.
“I would like every child in slavery like I was to return to their family and to be free,” Beatrice told Freda, “so that no child suffers like I did.”
Your generosity is also helping to ensure that boys and girls like Beatrice are never sent away to live with others in the first place, by organizing local Child Protection Brigades. Made up of volunteers trained in a six-month Schools Not Slavery Child Rights Program, these brigades are reducing the number of children sent away by helping parents understand the dangers their children face when sent away to live with others.
In the communities where Schools Not Slavery-supported Child Protection Brigades are at work, the rate of children sent away by their parents to live with other families is less than half the national average -- 12.7% versus 26%.
"Our goal is to see the practice of sending children away completely end in all the communities where we work," David said. "We will continue to work with families to help them bring their children home, enroll them in a good local school, and find the means to earn a dignified living so they never feel pressured to send their children away again," he said.
Second graders at National School in Tipalmis.
Child Protection Brigade graduates, Dec. 2016.
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