FREE THE SLAVES: From Restavek to Renewal

Meet Carline

Like many people in rural Haiti, Carline grew up in poverty. As a child, Carline’s family struggled to care for her. When she got older, she was sent to live with another family. Although her family thought Carline would be cared for, she endured enslavement and abuse.

As an adult, Carline struggled to provide for her children in her community on LaGonave Island. Her family battled hunger and homelessness. When a friend of Carline’s asked to take her seven-year-old daughter, Claudia, Carline thought it was a good thing. Carline said, “I trusted her to care for Claudia and send her to school.” Then, Claudia was sent to live with a different family, just as her mother was many years ago.

Around that same time, Free the Slaves and Beyond Borders began working in Carline’s community, offering child rights training and organizing adult survivors of child slavery. This opened Carline’s eyes to the dangers of the restavèk practice. “That’s when I learned that children who live apart from their parents…are often abused and even enslaved,” Carline said. With the support of FTS, Carline set out to find Claudia and discover how she was being treated. What she found was heartbreaking…

Just as Carline endured in her own childhood, her daughter was being abused. Carline recounts, “They forced Claudia to do more work than any child her age could ever do, and when she couldn’t finish it all, they beat her. They didn’t let her sleep inside the house. She had to sleep outside in a storage shed on the ground where mosquitos never let her rest.”

FTS intervened to help Carline and Claudia find their way back together. After reuniting, Carline was invited to participate in our Family Graduation Program where she and her daughter now have a stable life, support, and resources in their new community. (PAGE BREAK – Image of Claudia and Carline)

“[The project] helped me build my own home, plant a garden, and develop my own business. Through [the Family Graduation Program] I received training and support that allowed me to begin earning a living. Now I can care for Claudia and my other children, send them to school, feed them, and give them the future I was denied.”

With your help, Free The Slaves can provide survivors of modern-day slavery with crucial resources, care, and even freedom!

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Free the Slaves

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