In our November 1st post, Be the Change You Want to see in the World,  we wrote, “There are teens in the world who are making a difference. And there are a whole lot of you. Don’t get discouraged.”

Local teens, Tyler Eshleman and Amy Scheel, chose to make a difference – casting their imprint on society.

Former child slave himself, Jean-Robert Cadet will speak at the Steps for Haiti event March 9-10

Eshleman, a senior at Eastern Mennonite High School, and Scheel, a senior at East Rockingham High School, are among several local teens who are working on a fundraiser to help stop child-slavery in Haiti on March 9-10 (go here for details). This event has been organized almost entirely by local students, something that has not been done before! They wish to raise money to support Restavek No More, a foundation headed by Jean-Robert Cadet, a former restavek (child slave) who will be speaking at the event.

According to the Restavek No More website, “restavek” means “stay with.” It describes children given by desperate parents to live with host families who exploit them for their labor in exchange for a place to sleep, some leftover food and a promise to go to school that’s rarely kept. Many children in restavek situations are beaten, sexually abused and isolated. Often they grow up to be illiterate adults who don’t value other people’s lives because their own lives were never valued. They are given nothing of value, and they have little or nothing to give back in the context of society.”

 

Check out this VIDEO about the restavek system.

The Restavek Foundation

 

Haitian child slave carries water to her owner

It’s important for us to focus our attention and support non-profit organizations like Restavek No More, because it allows us to educate ourselves on the injustices and brutality faced by youth around the world. We may not be able to fully understand their stories but we can make a conscious effort to learn and become aware of what is going on beyond our borders and do something to promote positive change.

 

The event, an all-night walkathon, is scheduled for March 9-10. Get your team together now for this fun event!  Registration is $15 per person and includes all night food and coffee!  Go here for more details.  And thank you to all the high school students who are putting forth an effort to raise the quality of life for others around the globe.  Keep up the great work!


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