Christopher*

Hope for a Haitian Child

Life in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, can be very hard—especially for children. There are many orphans in Haiti, and Haiti child trafficking is a tragic reality. Other problems abound including malnutrition, lack of education in Haiti, limited access to medical care, and much more. But one particular situation that many Haitian children face is, if not endemic to Haiti, still so common that they have a special word for it—restavèk. The word restavèk literally means “to stay with” in Creole, but the reality behind the word is far more sinister.

Children on the streets, Haiti
Poverty in Haiti

Child Trafficking in Haiti

The word restavèk refers to a child that lives with a family that is not their own. The child may be an orphan in Haiti, or, more commonly, their parents simply cannot afford to support them. They are sent to live with another family to do household chores in exchange for meals, shelter, and, hopefully, the chance to go to school. Unfortunately, all too often, the truth is that restavèk is just another word for Haiti child trafficking. While child trafficking statistics in Haiti are hard to come by, those living as restavèk are often victims of child slavery.

Hope for a Child Victim

Nine-year-old Christopher* lives as a restavèk, or a child slave, in Haiti. His “host” family consists of a man named Leon*, his wife, and their five children. Christopher works hard helping Leon in the pastures and in the family’s home. When he was caught playing with his friends in the neighborhood, Christopher was seriously beaten. Sometimes Leon’s wife claims that Christopher hit one of her children and refuses to feed him.

Christopher dreamed of going to school, but Leon cannot pay his school fees. Thankfully, Christopher’s life began to change for the better when a local pastor helped get him enrolled in a literacy center run by Cross International partner the Evangelical Baptist Mission of South Haiti. Thanks to the faithfulness of Cross International friends like you, Christopher’s dream of an education in Haiti is starting to come true. Christopher loves school, he has a good teacher, and he has made friends in class. He also enjoys receiving school lunches and shared with school staff that sometimes the school lunch is his only meal of the day. Even though he has lots of chores to do at Leon’s home, Christopher works hard to make time for his homework, too. Most joyous of all, Christopher has even accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior!

Sadly, like so many other victims of child trafficking in Haiti, Christopher’s situation remains difficult. But, with Cross International’s support, school staff are working to provide more food and assistance to him. Christopher even asks that we continue to find ways to help other children who live in situations like his.

Students praying before taking lunch at school
Children praying before eating lunch at MEBSH school

Orphan and Child Care in Haiti

Through the generosity of our compassionate partners, Cross International is able to come alongside and support our partner organizations in Haiti who are working so hard to help victims of child trafficking and slavery like Christopher.

*Names changed to protect identity.

OTHER STORIES

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Any gift you give before the end of the year will be MATCHED dollar for dollar, up to $75,000, to transform lives not only now, but into the future!

Help Children With Disabilities

The UN estimates that between 93 and 150 million children worldwide live with a disability. In developing countries, these children are often unable to attend school, play outside or access specialized resources. Negative stigma or superstition among their parents, neighbors and community leaders often reinforce these barriers.

This year, we’re providing $60,000 worth of medical equipment to Kupenda for the Children in Kenya. This is a very remote location, and your gift will help cover the shipping costs to this very worthy medical outreach.

This gift will benefit: Kenya

Heal the Sick

In developed countries, basic medical supplies such as gauze, wraps, bandages, and syringes are commonplace. Unfortunately, that is often not the case in the developing world. Christian doctors and volunteers in developing countries frequently run low on these supplies, and they also lack the funds to keep large inventories on hand.

This year, we’re providing $84 million worth of medicines and medical supplies. Your gift will help cover the shipping costs to medical outreaches in some of the most remote areas of the globe

This gift will benefit: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya

Build a Family a Home

A gift of a safe, secure home is tangible affirmation of God’s love for a desperate family — it brings hope, health, stability and opportunity. Most poor families must settle for much less. Mired in poverty, they are forced to live in unsafe shacks fashioned from mud and thatch.

You can provide the life-changing gift of a safe, storm-resistant new home with Cross partners Ambuya Development Center in Malawi and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A new home will ease the family’s burdens, protect them from the wind and rain, and help them achieve their dreams.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Malawi

Education

The gift of an education is an investment that reaps long-term dividends for a child’s future. By opening doors for the children of the poor to enroll in Christian schools and get the same educational opportunities as their more economically well-off peers, you are giving not just a hand-out but a “hand-up.”

Your gift will fund Christian education to nurture vulnerable children mentally and spiritually — for thriving futures that will transform hopeless places.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Ecuador, Uganda

Rescue Women and Children in Crisis

Through emergency child rescue services, vocational training, anti-trafficking programs and Bible literacy classes, Cross International is helping vulnerable women and children reclaim their lives. Inspired by Jesus’ love, we work shoulder to shoulder with our in-country partners, empowering them to create change that lasts so that those who need help will eventually be able to stand confidently on their own. Be a part of this good news and make a life-saving gift part of your holidays.

Your gift will help protect victims of gender-based violence and also help save marginalized women and children from harm.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Provide Clean, Safe Water

Our ministry partner, the Kachere Development Center, has an ambitious plan to install 20 wells, providing 5,160 adults and 8,414 children with clean water. Our goal is to finance the drilling and installation of one well – part of an entire community water system, which includes training to maintain the well, and sanitation and hygiene training for improved health.

One borehole can provide 2,800 gallons of safe, life-sustaining water every day. Help us bring clean, safe water to one of these villages today — in a way that will last for generations.

This gift will benefit: Zambia

Give Tools for Sustainable Farming

One of nine people worldwide survive on less than $1.90 a day. Without training and supplies to grow moneymaking crops and breed profitable livestock, poor farmers stay locked in the cycle of poverty.

By supporting this fund, you’ll help families break free of poverty — transforming lives for generations. When families get the training and tools they need, it means bountiful harvests and small animals that produce income for a sustainable business model.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Nicaragua

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries.

Your gift will provide meals for ministry partners such as Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Most Urgent Needs

Inspired by the love of Jesus, we work shoulder to shoulder with local leaders overseas, equipping families with the resources they need to thrive – basics like food, clean water and healthcare, as well as longer-term community transformation projects that will ensure lasting change.

By giving to our Thriving Kids Initiative, you’re not only meeting children’s Most Urgent Needs, you’re also helping lift their families – even entire communities – out of poverty.

This gift will benefit: Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, South America

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries like Haiti, Malawi, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Your gift will support the provision of meals and other basic services that are essential for survival. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

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$1,000 will feed 30 children for a month | $5,000 will feed 80 children for a month | $10,000 will feed 92 children for a month | $20,000 will feed 184 children for a month

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