Restavek Freedom Foundation
3 Movies That Address Child Slavery

Despite efforts
to abolish slavery in all its forms, slavery still exists in many ways today,
including child slavery. There are an estimated 150 million children in slavery
in the world today, with up to 300,000 of them living in Haiti.

Restavek is a
form of modern day child slavery in Haiti that we are
intent on ending in our lifetime. It is a systemic problem caused largely by widespread poverty. To end the system of restavek, it requires creating meaningful
conversations and educating communities in Haiti on the treatment of children.

We do this with
the help of our Haitian child advocates who are fighting every day to make
these children feel valued and worth fighting for.

Restavek
Freedom isn’t alone in desiring to see an end to child slavery. The arts and
entertainment realm has pledged support to end this practice by shedding light
on slavery through various mediums, including film.

Here are three
of our favorite movies that address the problem of child slavery*:

The
Abolitionists

is the story of Tim
Ballard, former Special Agent with Homeland Security, and his team as they
rescue 57 children from slavery and help lead to the arrest of seven
traffickers. The director, Chet Thomas, says that he “felt called to make the
movie” despite the obstacles he knew they would face. Chet believes in the
power of entertainment to raise awareness of important issues, including child
slavery.

The
Chocolate Case

This film was
surrounded by a lot of buzz at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and for good
reason. It takes a deep look at the forced child labor that occurs within the
chocolate industry.
is not the first documentary that has attempted to uncover the dark side of the
treat we love so much. Other films such as andhave also shed light on the problem that exists with how our
chocolate gets made and what we should do to correct it.

Sold


is the heartbreaking tale of a child from Nepal who is sold into slavery in
India. This film is based on a novel by Patricia McCormick and follows the
story of Lakshmi, a thirteen-year-old girl who is forced out of her relatively
normal life in Nepal and sold into prostitution.


The three titles above may be
films, but the issues they bring to light are very real. We hope that you enjoy
these films and that, more importantly, they are the impetus for you to join
the movement to end slavery around the world.

If you want to hear more about what
we are doing to end the system of restavek in Haiti, reach
out to us
. We would love to hear from you and share how you can give
hope to those children living in restavek.

Visit our
website
to learn more about restavek and what we can do to end the system of restavek together.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:55:34 PM

Flag Day in Haiti

By Samuel Jean Baptiste, Child Advocate

One of the answers you might hear when asking
the Haitian people this is:

Though the Haitian people face many social and economic
issues, they all remember the day their country won its independence from the
colonial slave system: November 18th, 1803.
Earlier that same year, on May 18th, 1803, Jean-Jacques Dessalines took
down the French flag and ripped out the white band.  He then had Catherine Flon sew the blue and
red stripes together, creating the blue and red Haitian flag. Ever since that
day, the Haitian people have celebrated May 18th as Flag Day.

Today, the Haitian flag is composed of horizontal red and
blue stripes, with the center displaying the weapons of the republic on a
square of white cloth.  Inside this
square reads our country’s motto:

Every year, it is easy to tell when 18 me (May 18th) is
coming. You hear kids saying, (“I will be in the May 18th
parade…”).  Everywhere you look, you see
people selling the Haitian flag, including in the , a beautiful place
that has historic monuments, the National Pantheon Museum of Haïti, next to the
Toussaint Louverture Airport, and elsewhere.

The National Ministry of Education in Haïti also organizes
special activities for May 18th.
Students at some schools dress up in red and blue, the colors of the
flag, and go to Arcahaie, in the Ouest department of Haiti where the flag was
created.  Others go to Champ-de-Mars for
a parade; they dance in the streets and act out a drama relating the history of
Haiti. It is a very unique cultural experience, and is exciting to see how the
young people get involved.

May 18th is an important day for another reason as
well.  May 18th is also University Day in
Haiti, so we also have activities related to education and culture on that day.  

It may be a normal day elsewhere, but May 18th is a very
important day for Haiti!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016 10:12:43 AM

Children From Advocacy Program Go On Field Trip

By Nadine Augustin Paul, Child Advocate

“Nadine, please take a picture for me so I can show my host
family how well you treat me.” 

This is just one of the quotes I heard after a recent
visit to the Haitian Historical Museum (MUPANAH) with the children from our
Advocacy Program.  During our monthly
meeting with the Accelerated Learning Program teachers in January, we talked
about how encouraging the kids to be motivated in school is the work of a
village. Many times, they do not come to school or do their homework because
they have too many chores and get discouraged, or because they are told so many
negative words at home that they just feel down and stay home.

As our goal is to free them holistically through education,
we build them up with positive words and actions. In collaboration with the teachers,
we planned to visit the Haitian Historical Museum with the kids from our
Accelerated Learning Program.  However,
we told them that only the most regular and consistent students would go with
us.  Amazingly, the teachers told us that
since the announcement about the trip in January, it is rare they not do their
homework, and even the ones who often used to miss school are consistent in class.
Some students have even preferred to be late rather than miss school. This has
been a great success for the second trimester.

In the middle of February, Marie Yolaine and I planned every
detail related to the trip, in order to be ready to take the kids in March. On
the day of the trip, we had a bus ready pick the kids up, and we left the
school at 8:25am to get to the museum at 9:30am. We could see the excitement
all over the their faces.  Farah*, one of
the girls in 1st/2nd grade rarely smiles when I see her, but on this day her
joy was uncontainable.

We provided a snack for the kids, as we had asked them to be
at the school at 7:30 am. The museum visit was a wonderful, educational
experience for the kids, as they learned a lot about Haiti’s history from the
period before Columbus to the period after Haiti’s independence. “I was happy
to know the names of the slaves who resisted the slavery system and fought for
independence,” said Djennie*, one of the 5th/6th grade students.

In addition to the history museum, the kids were also able
to visit an art museum where they saw beautiful paintings by great artists.  At the end of the visit, the kids were very
happy and were singing on the bus back to the school. When I asked for their
feedback, many of them said, “I was happy to go because I learned a lot of
things that I can share with others!”

This visit was such a great initiative for the kids, more
than anything because they felt secure. In addition to Marie Yolaine and I, all
of their teachers were there, as well as some of the other Restavek Freedom staff,
including Pastor Mendelson, Robenson, Frantso and Natacha Desir, and we were
all there to support them.                      


Friday, May 13, 2016 3:08:45 PM

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