On a recent trip to Haiti, I took some time to sit
down with each of our staff who are out in the field, and asked them to share
about themselves, their jobs, and their country. This month we’re featuring the first of these
staff, Samuel Jean Baptiste. Samuel is a
wonderful advocate with a real heart for the children, and a love for
learning. He quickly gains rapport with
the children in our program and is passionate about ending the restavek system. Enjoy getting to know one of our amazing
What is your role with
I am a Child Advocate with Restavek Freedom. I advocate for over 60 children at four
different schools in Port-au-Prince.
How long have you been a Child Advocate with
I have worked with Restavek Freedom for just over 2 years (I began in
How did you first hear about Restavek
I first heard about Restavek Freedom from another of our Child Advocates,
Nadine. We went to the same university and she had talked about the foundation.
What languages do you speak?
I speak Creole, French and English.
you like most about being a Child Advocate?
I have always
wanted to work with children. By being a
Child Advocate, I get to bring hope to children living in restavek, as they
don’t generally have a good relationship with their host parents. I also get to
help them have a better future and create a better Haiti, with well-educated kids
who have healthy minds and self-esteem.
you like most about your country?
I like the pride we
have in being the first independent black republic.
one thing people might not know about Haiti?
People might only
hear the bad news about Haiti, but Haitian people have a lot of pride in being
the first independent black nation. We also have some very nice places in Haiti
to vacation—people don’t have to go to the U.S. or Canada to find nice places
to vacation. Finally, people might not realize our style of communication;
Haitian people can get very passionate talking about and defending a subject,
but they are not angry!
you wish most for Haiti?
I want Haiti to
have a better social environment, where children’s rights will be respected.
motivates you in your job?
I love kids, and I know that kids grow
up to be adults. If you want them to have a good future, you need to start now
while they are young.
your favorite song, book or movie?
I like motivational songs, as well as books
about psychology and social work.
What are your favorite things to do when
you’re not working?
I love learning; I’m always wanting to learn new things. I enjoy reading
books and listening to music – it fuels my motivation to learn.
your co-workers describe you?
During our Monday staff meetings, we
often go around the circle and encourage and affirm each other. When they get to me, my co-workers typically say that I am responsible, that I have a good
sense of leadership and have respect for everybody here. I always try to
understand a situation and people before judging. I’m smart and I keep track of
my goals in life – when we don’t do this, you know, we end can up just going to
work and coming back home without reaching our goals. I keep track of where I
am in reaching these goals. I know myself well.
something else we might not know about you?
I wrote my paper for the university about the restavek system, about
kids who have experienced restavek. I
have a passion for writing. I’m very interested in teaching at a university – that
is one of my goals. I also enjoy public
We appreciate everything Samuel and our other wonderful staff in
Haiti do on a daily basis to bring an end to the restavek system! Next month we’ll feature another of our