visit www.nochildaslave.org for more info
From May 9th to 25th, residents of the East Coast will have a rare opportunity to hear firsthand how two powerful child rights activists are building the movement for the elimination of child slavery in Haiti.
Alina “Tibebe” Cajuste, a survivor of child slavery who now leads a network of survivors, and Guyto Desrosiers, Director of Beyond Borders’ Child Protection Program, are headed to Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Rhode Island and Boston to raise awareness about this grave injustice that affects more than 250,000 Haitian children (about 1 in 10).
Tibebe’s mother was a Haitian laundry girl who was raped by her employer’s son, and then turned out into the streets in order to protect the family’s name. With no means of raising the child, she gave Tibebe to a woman she met in the street, hoping that her daughter would have a better childhood than she had.
The woman who took Tibebe in enslaved her from childhood on. Because she hadn’t been given a name during her infancy, everyone simply called her “Tibebe,” meaning “Little Baby.”
For her entire childhood, Tibebe was publicly beaten, emotionally and psychologically abused, and neglected. She never had the chance to go to school, or to learn to read and write.
When Tibebe was an adolescent, a brave woman in her community that had grown tired of seeing Tibebe’s suffering helped her escape from the home that enslaved her.
Since then, Tibebe has become a vital part of the movement for the complete elimination of child slavery in Haiti. She leads a network of adult survivors who have become the first collective voice advocating for the children who are currently voiceless. Her network works alongside other organizations with similar missions, Beyond Borders’ Child Protection Team, and sometimes members of the Haitian government.
The collective power of this network is helping to end the stigma that surrounds publicly speaking about restavèk.
Guyto Desrosiers has been working as the Director of Beyond Borders Child Protection Program in Port-au-Prince for several years. He grew up in a large family of nine children and now has his own family -- a young son and a wife who he loves and cares for, along with his community, where he “carries the lamp, the light of this work for Child Protection.”
To date, Guyto and his team have trained more than 3,000 Child Rights Activists, and that number grows each day. Through his passion for protecting human rights, especially those of Haiti’s most vulnerable children, Guyto has touched the lives of many.
Their stories are different, but these two activists are a force for change in Haiti, and this speaking tour is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to interact with them face-to-face.
We need to engage a critical mass of people in order to ensure that the movement to end child slavery in Haiti remains alive and well.
Here’s what you can do to get involved:
- Spreading the word by e-mailing your friends
- Fundraising for tour costs
- Volunteering to help out at events
While we have a robust tour schedule, we still have space for Tibebe and Guyto to engage with more audiences.
If you are interested in hosting your own No Child a Slave Tour event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-686-2088.
For tour dates and more information, please visit www.nochildaslave.org.