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June 2009 Featured Child

Child Spotlight: Bonhomme, age 15

Bonhomme and his younger brothers were inseparable. But when their mother died several years ago, the brothers were torn apart.

Bonhomme and his brother Bossco were brought to Project Espwa to live. But their younger brother, Fedlin, was sent away to become a Restavek.

French for “stay with,” restaveks are poor children who live with a wealthier family and work as domestic servants in exchange for food, shelter, and education. Often, however, these children are treated as slaves and endure a life of abuse and neglect.

For four years Bonhomme and Bossco wondered what had become of their little brother, but they didn’t tell anyone what had happened. Then last month after Bonhomme broke his wrist in a horse riding accident, the brothers were reunited.

Bonhomme had to spend a day in town while his arm was being set in a cast. He missed his brother Bossco and began thinking about his little brother too. The next day he tearfully began telling Fr. Marc about his younger brother who was a restavek.

Just two days later Fr. Marc and his staff located Fedlin and brought him to live at Espwa. The three brothers were overjoyed to see each other again. Fedlin was also very excited to be starting school again. He hadn’t been in four years – the whole time he was a restavek. His brother Bossco has happily agreed to help him catch up with his studies.

“Espwa has changed our lives because now we are together again and we will be able to see each other all the time,” Bonhomme said.

Project Espwa cares for many children who were once restaveks. Your donation can bring happy endings, like the one Bonhomme and his brothers received, to more Haitian children in desperate need. Click here to help to help a child today.

I fell in love with Espwa during my first visit last year. Hard to put into words, but there was a real "heart" connection with the kids and staff. It is a special place. My visit was focused primarily on the girls and the teachers. Relationships were initiated during that first visit that I treasure very much!

- Maria Simeone

There is hardly a more heartbreaking sight than seeing an orphan in Haiti--many of them who have families who simply cannot feed and clothe them. Of course there is the emotional response to their plight, but there is a more pragmatic hope--that given a chance in a loving, caring environment, these children can grow up to be leaders, people who can move their communities and the country itself in a positive, healthy direction.

- Jackie Wilson

This place is amazing! The kids and their caregivers will restore your faith in the human spirit. The magic of Espwa is that there is a childhood provided for the kids there that would not exist otherwise.Haiti has a very very long way to go, but this is a hopeful place with clean, well fed, happy children, teachers, house moms, and support staff. Fr Marc and all of the others should be very proud of their accomplishments. Help them in any way that you can!

- Kerri McDonough Croland
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