Keeping kids out of child slavery starts by keeping them at home with their parents and loved ones.
Rural parents who can’t provide food or an education to their children will sometimes send them away to cities to live with a distant relative or friend in hopes that their child might have a better life. Often, however, the children end up living in household slavery instead.
To prevent this rural to urban flow, we’re working alongside teachers, school principles, pastors, parents and community leaders in rural villages throughout southeastern Haiti to:
- Our Accelerated Education program identifies and provides an education for older unschooled children who are at the greatest risk of being sent away by their families to live in the city where child slavery is prevalent. In 2012, we educated 146 kids in 10 classrooms and in 2013 we’ve added one additional classroom.
- Teachers in rural communities are often absent because schools lack the funding necessary to pay them, forcing them to pursue other income-generating work. Our Match Funding program matches parents’ tuition payments 1-to-1, leading to better-paid, more invested educators and increased parental investment in schools.
- Many children do not own textbooks because their parents cannot afford them. Using our Book Banks, parents pay a reduced fee to rent books for their children, and teachers have access to the reference books.
- We create a safe space for adults to talk about child slavery using a curriculum called Education is a Conversation (ESK). Neighbors spend 22 weeks gathering together to share stories and have in-depth dialogues about corporal punishment, sexual abuse and child slavery, among other topics. In this interactive and transformative exploration, participants learn to educate, raise awareness, create public accountability and change the way people think about the rights of children. Upon completion participants become Child Rights Activists in their neighborhoods. Since 2010, we’ve trained more than 1,600 Child Rights Activists in rural areas of southeastern Haiti.
- After neighbors complete the ESK training, these new Child Rights Activists come together to create volunteer, neighborhood Child Protection Committees that are the first-line of defense for vulnerable children in their neighborhoods. Since 2010, together with our partners we’ve launched 43 Child Protection Committees in rural and urban neighborhoods across Haiti and we’ll launch 53 more by the end of 2013. As each Committee is formed, the nationwide movement to end child slavery grows.
- Our School Gardens program restores and reaffirms the value of farming and agriculture by engaging students in active, garden-based lessons connected to their math and science lessons. The vegetables grown are used to enable or improve school lunch programs, and extra is sometimes sold at local markets to raise money for the school.
- In our Teacher Trainings, we work with educators to implement non-violent, participatory classroom management techniques and reflection circles that allow children to have a voice, rather than being passive learners. We also help teachers improve their capacity to teach core curricula.
- Both of these programs are part of our Schools Alive network, which includes schools that teach a total of nearly 6,000 students. The Schools Alive network strengthens local schools that keep rural communities thriving and children out of child slavery.