What is a Restavek?

A restavek is a child in Haiti who is sent by his or her parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant because the parents lack the resources required to support the child. The term comes from the French language rester avec, "to stay with".[1] Parents unable to care for children may send them to live with wealthier (or less poor) families; often their own relatives or friends. Often the children are from rural areas and relatives who host restaveks live in more urban ones. The expectation is that the children will receive food and housing (and sometimes an education) in exchange for doing housework. However, many restaveks live in poverty, may not receive proper education, and are at grave risk for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.The practice meets formal international definitions of modern day slavery and child trafficking, and affects an estimated 300,000 Haitian children.

The Renand Foundation is addressing the restavek problem in Haiti by focusing on the roots of the problem. That is we go sponsor rural families and rural communities in Haiti where kids who are at risk of becoming restaveks live. By doing so, we provide these families and communities with the necessary means to raise their children and keep them with as supposed to send them to the cities where they become restaveks. Our focus is to save children from becoming restaveks.

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