Jessica never knew her father.  Her mother, Maculeuse, spent her life begging for food and money.  In the Haitian context, Maculeuse is called a pòv, from the French word pauvrete or poverty in English.   A pòv is someone who lives in the worst kind of poverty.  In Mirebalais, a pòv, could be found sleeping at night in the dirty, muddy open air market place.  During the day, they beg for food and sometimes perform menial tasks for pennies.  For a while, Jessica, her sister, and mother lived in the open-air market place in Mirebalais. Then the Azile Communale de Mirebalais became Jessica’s home.  The Azile was originally built in the 1990’s to provide housing for some of the pov of Mirebalais, especially the elderly.  However it evolved into a shelter for people of all ages seeking a better alternative to the open air market.  Jessica’s mother and sister died and Jessica, who was now alone, came to the SAES home.  Now Jessica and the other children are provded a safe and stable environment, where they have an opportunity to live out their potential in life.   Jessica spends much of her time doing her homework and after three years of attending St. Peter’s Episcopal School, she has scored the highest grades in her class and is now at the top of her class.  Jessica continues to build confidence as she reaches adolescence. Jessica represents both the present and future of Haiti.

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