The five new residents in the SAES Home
By Mrs. Marie Therese Charite
“Please help me save these children…”
On Sunday, September 22 at 8:30 in the evening, the Mayor of Mirebalais, Max Millien, came to my house and asked me if we (Haiti Micah Project) could take three young children who used to reside in a shelter for homeless children that had been closed. One child is 4 years old and the others are 5 and 6 years of age. We took them in and after nine days we were able to locate the parent of one of the children.
In the meantime, on Thursday, October 3, the director of the department of social services came to see us with three young people who are13, 14 and 15 years old. At first we refused to take them in, as space in our facility is becoming an issue, but then the director said, “please help me save these children.” When he told us their story, we felt we had to receive these children. The 13 year old lived in Hinche with his mother and father. The relationship was abusive for years. At one point the father said to his son not to call him father, because he is not his father. And the father’s physical abuse was evident.
The second one, the 14 year-old, doesn’t know his mother or father. Apparently, his godmother raised him; but she left Haiti for Canada without him. A friend of his godmother took him, but sent him to live in Hinche with her mother. However, that woman started mistreating him, physically abusing him, and his suffering continued.
The third young man is 15 years old. Even though he has a mother and father, the father does not want him to stay at home. His father physically abused him constantly. He described his physical abused as constant beatings, verbal abuse and his father sometimes would beat his mother as well; especially when the mother objected to the way he treated her son. These young men lived not far from each other and they would get together and share their problems and misery.
And so, one day the boys decided to leave their homes in Hinche together, got a free ride to Port-au-Prince without knowing where they would end up; and as they walked and walked, they saw a church. They entered the church and found the priest with whom they shared their stories. The priest, who is from Brazil, took the boys in. After a short while, the priest was transferred and at that point the priest took the boys to the department of social services. After social services investigated their cases and visited their former homes, they realized it was not safe for the boys to return. Social services kept them for a period of time, and decided to contact the Haiti Micah Project in Mirebalais.
We have provided shelter to all five children and young people. They are going to school and adjusting well.
Mrs. Marie Therese Charite, Fr. Constant’s mother, is a Board member and volunteer at the program in Haiti. The HMP is registered with the Haitian government under Solidarite et Action pour les Enfants de Sion (SAES). Along with Mrs. Charite, the SAES Board members include key leaders from the community of Mirebalais.