Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children

by Beyond Borders
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Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Jun 24, 2022

142 Children are Free, Safe, and Back Home, Thanks to You

Children at a school using nonviolent discipline.
Children at a school using nonviolent discipline.

More Girls and Boys are Free, Safe, and Growing Up at Home Thanks to You

I am so grateful for your generous support for Beyond Borders’ Schools Not Slavery initiative. Thanks to your solidarity and generosity 142 children are back home with their families where they will grow up free, safe, and enrolled in a quality local school. Thank you again for making this life-changing work possible!

Your generous support also made it possible for 124 of the children to get follow-up care once they returned home, helping them reintegrate into their local communities – including getting them back in school.

Child Protection Brigade Trained With Your Support Demand Justice for 15-Year-Old Girl

Your geneous support is building the movement to end child slavery and violence and abuse against children. As more and more people become activists in the fight to end violence against children, and communities become united in a desire to see an end to such violence, more cases of alleged abuse and exploitation are being brought to light.

This January, someone approached the local Child Protection Brigade (CPB) in their community about the case of a 15-year-old girl who had been raped and was now pregnant. The CPB quickly mobilized, connecting with Beyond Borders (BB) and the local chapter of SASA!* activists. 

The alleged rapist was arrested and detained. BB’s psychologist on staff spent time with the child and her family, and BB helped the child seek medical attention. BB staff met with local authorities, CPB and SASA! activists to make plans to support the family – which was starting to receive external pressure from a former elected official close to the accused, to drop the charges. 

A community fundraiser was launched to collect funds to support the family and local authorities regularly met with the family to show their support too. Despite this, the State Prosecutor in charge of the case pressured the parents of the survivor, and the charges against the perpetrator were then dropped.

Upon learning this, the CPB and BB went to work to reverse this injustice. The CPB held a press conference, collected signatures on a petition and asked a partner human rights organization to send a letter to the Ministry of Justice and to the prosecutor in charge of the case, denouncing this behavior and demanding strict application of the law.

As a result, the State Prosecutor was taken off the case and transferred to another jurisdiction. The accused remains in police custody awaiting trial.

In Haiti’s dysfunctional and corrupt justice system, this was a big win for the survivor and her family, Child Protection Brigade activists, and local authorities on Lagonav working with Beyond Borders to change the way things are done on the island. Your generous support for Beyond Borders’ Child Rights Training makes this kind of victory possible. Thank you for your generosity and your solidarity.

*Created by our friends at Raising Voices, SASA! (Start, Awareness, Support, Action) is a ground-breaking, internationally-recognized model of community-mobilization to stop violence against women and the spread of HIV. Engaging all actors in the community — women, men, cultural and religious leaders, local officials, police, health-care providers — SASA! fosters critical reflection on gender and power and instigates local-level activism.

Establishing a Formal Partnership with Haiti’s Child Protection Agency

Thanks to your support for Beyond Borders’ Schools Not Slavery initiative, staff on our child protection team have been able to devote critical time and resources to cultivating a deeper relationship with Haitian Institute of Well-Being (IBESR) – the government’s child welfare agency. 

BB staff have facilitated travel to Lagonav by IBESR staff to work together on various priorities including training and certifying foster families, known as ‘Welcoming Families’, for at-risk/abused/exploited children needing temporary safe housing.

This has been a long, challenging process that is finally producing results. Sixteen families are ready to be trained with certification expected by the end of June. They will be the first foster families of their kind on the island and a critical component of the child protection movement on Lagonav.

The collaboration has deepened so much that IBESR would like to establish a formal partnership with BB, which will include accreditation for BB. There is currently no IBESR presence on Lagonav. Accreditation training for BB staff is planned for the end of June 2022. BB certification, plus a deeper relationship, will continue to build capacity and expand social services/support for island communities and at-risk groups. Thank you again for your support for the work of Beyond Borders’ Child Protection Team.

A Look at More of the Work to Protect Children from Slavery and Abuse that You’ve Made Possible

Here’s a look at some of the child protection initiatives that you’ve made possible through your generosity:

  • 9 children experiencing violence got help  from Child Protection Brigades, including psycho-social support from BB staff
  • 115 members of new Child Protection Brigades trained in Child Development and Conflict Management
  • 202 adult survivors joined the Adult Survivors of Child Slavery Network, taking part in training designed to create new chapters of the survivor network
  • 190 participants (177 women, 13 men) graduated from 12 rural Child Rights Training groups on Lagonav
  • 258 participants (167 women, 91 men) from 22 urban Child Rights Training groups on Lagonav completed their activities and will celebrate their graduation in June
  • 185 people (100 women, 85 men) participated in an Open Space session held by our partner PDL on what people can do to combat violence against children, girls, and women

A Leader in the Adult Survivors of Child Slavery Network Talks About Beyond Borders’ Impact in her Community

Beyond Borders is a central pillar in our community. Especially in the Onavil community, as many people here are victims of child slavery and all kinds of other violence. As a member of the Network of Survivors, I have learned that child slavery victims, like me, despite being mentally scarred, are human beings and deserve justice and reparation. Thanks to Beyond Borders, there are many changes being made in the community of Onavil to protect other children from slavery, so that they do not fall victim to similar fate like us. Beyond Borders always helps us denounce the dishonest acts of the community against children and women who are often victims. Beyond Borders has also trained us to respond more adequately to victims of sexual and physical violence. Beyond Borders also supports us financially when we are doing community outreach activities. Beyond Borders has the utmost respect of everyone in the community because they support all of our efforts to end or prevent violence against children and women.” ~ Stephania, Secretary General of the Urban Adult Survivor Network

Your Generosity is Supporting Work to Expand Access to Quality Education for More Lagonav Children

Your generous gift is not only supporting work to improve the quality of education, it also is supporting work to increase access to education. Children who aren’t in school are at the highest risk of being sent away to live with another family and becoming enslaved.

The Communal Education Platform – launched by Beyond Borders –began carrying out surveys in four communal sections on Lagonav Island to determine the number of school-aged children not in school. These are children who either never enrolled in school or enrolled and dropped out. The surveys also seek to determine why a child is not in school. In some cases, the local Child Protection Brigades are also involved.

Initial data indicates that 137 children (42 girls and 95 boys) stopped going to school at some point in the school year that just ended and/or never started. Data collection and analysis continue to determine the reasons why. The Communal Platform has begun discussing initiatives and incentives to support schools willing to change policies and practices to allow for all children in their community to attend school.

Ministry of Education Promotes Non-Violent Classroom Management on Lagonav

Ministry of Education School Inspectors issued a new directive for all schools on the island prohibiting the use of corporal punishment. Nonviolent classroom management has long been championed and promoted by Beyond Borders and our primary education partner on Lagonav Island, the Matènwa Community Learning Center – thanks to you and your generous support for the Schools Not Slavery initiative.

School Inspectors, eager to develop capacity to support school leadership in the implementation of nonviolent classroom management techniques, are requesting training from BB and our partners at MCLC.

A Look at More of the Work to Guarantee Quality Primary Education that You’ve Made Possible

Here’s a look at some of the education initiatives that you’ve made possible through your generosity:

  • 1,900 students, teachers, school staff, directors, and parents participated in community-awareness raising activities about nonviolent, quality education
  • Seven schools hosted seven Open Space Dialogue Sessions to talk about ending violence in Schools; 350 people participated
  • 154 people (25 women, 129 men) – including local authorities, school staff, parents, community leaders, and representatives of non-governmental organizations – attended General Assemblies held by the seven branches of the Communal Education Platform launched by Beyond Borders
  • 23 schools from three communal sections are participating in friendly soccer tournaments
  • Six school-aged children returned to school thanks to the advocacy efforts of the Education Platform
  • One brand-new motorcycle was donated to the Ministry of Education on Lagonav for use by their school inspectors

A School Inspector Shares How the Work of Beyond Borders is Strengthening Education on Lagonav Island

Before the collaboration between the Ministry of Education on Lagaonv and Beyond Borders, it was difficult to get parents, teachers, school directors, and local authorities to understand the many challenges we faced in the Ministry office. We function without any budget, without funds to organize meetings, for transportation etc. Beyond Borders is now supporting us to organize regular meetings with other stakeholders who care about education, and support us with the logistics of conducting school visits. This is starting to help others realize they can also play a role to support our work. It has also increased our capacity and the requests for visits/support from schools. Thanks to Beyond Borders’ support, we now have a brand new motorcycle (in the past we would ask others if they could provide us with old motorcycles that did not work so well). Our partnership is also encouraging others like the Mayor’s office, the private sector and other NGOs to work together with us. If I was asked to list all the ways this partnership is important for improving the education system on Lagaonv, I wouldn’t be able to stop talking. It is my wish that this partnership will continue and that we will grow the Communal Education Platform to cover the whole island with our work. Thank you!” ~ Louis, Chief School Inspector, Ministry of Education, Ansagale, Lagonav

Thank You Again

I am grateful for all the good work that you are making possible through your support for the Schools Not Slavery initiative. Thank you again for your extraordinary generosity and solidarity. If you have any questions about what you read in this report, please call or write to me anytime at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net.

A new child rights training graduate on Lagonav.
A new child rights training graduate on Lagonav.
A June Child Rights Training Graduation on Lagonav
A June Child Rights Training Graduation on Lagonav
Child Rights Activists at work in their community.
Child Rights Activists at work in their community.
Education Ministry officials accept gift of moto.
Education Ministry officials accept gift of moto.
Children at a school on Lagonav Island.
Children at a school on Lagonav Island.

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Beyond Borders

Location: Norristown, PA - USA
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Twitter: @beyondbordersHT
Project Leader:
David Diggs
Washington, DC United States
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