Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Living Next Door to Cinderella

To most Americans Cinderella is a fairy tale. For many Haitians it is a reality. This country is full of Cinderellas. Girls, and boys, sent from their home to live with another family. Forced to do all of the chores while the children they live with run off to school and they stay behind.

 A 12 year old girl came over to my house about a month ago. She picked cherries with me from my tree and patiently chatted with me through my broken Creole. She came in my home and taught me how to make cherry juice. Over the past month she has come in my house for a wee bit of time a few times each week. I invite her in to play with my girls. She immediately picks up the girls rooms, arranging the toys and making the beds, and then grabs a broom and begins to sweep. I plead with her not to clean their room - to just sit and play with them. Cleaning is all she knows. Eventually she will sit and brush the dolls hair. But shortly after her name is screamed out from next door.

This week she came over and played Legos with all my kiddos.  Later the kids moved to a different room to play something else.  I took my eyes off the situation for just a few minutes.  She snuck away from play to Luke's room and picked up every last Lego.  This prompted a series of questions from Luke that night about her compulsory need to clean.  We ended up having a long talk about child slavery.

She told me she lives with her maternal aunt and goes to school here while the rest of her family lives in the north of Haiti. I've never seen her in a school uniform. She doesn't go to school. I'm not so sure she lives with her aunt. I hear her name called out again and again all day long. We've heard her scream out as she is hit  repeatedly with a switch. My heart is heavy. My heart breaks each time her name is called out.

Please pray for wisdom for us.                                               Pray for the restavecs in this country.                                                                                                           There are too many Cinderellas here.


  1. Your broken heart breaks mine, Sara. Thank you for telling us. Not only praying for Cinderella, but for openings to reach the "wicked stepmother" and others so they can see with God's eyes. You are certainly where you are needed, thanks be go God!

  2. Do you think she is a restavek? I pray for you all as you live and work there.