Construction of two new homes for children being reintegrated with their families – Francia and Mathieu – are only weeks away from completion!
She is already staying at home with her brothers and sisters, where she is preparing for the beginning of her school year at Pwoje Espwa.
Another home is being constructed in our local community for Mathieu.
At 7-years-old, Mathieu is a happy young boy, described as having adapted well to his changing environment when he arrived at Pwoje Espwa.
Mathieu’s mother brought him to Pwoje Espwa in search of help. Having separated from Mathieu’s father, she supports their home with her meager earnings selling sandals in town.
She lives in a shelter constructed from weavings of straw, a structure our social workers claim “can hardly be called a house.” Without a toilet or a kitchen, everything is done on the dirt floor in the open air. Without proper access to electricity, she lights her home with incandescent lamps.
The area surrounding Pwoje Espwa, known as Madame Combe, is a poor rural area just outside of Les Cayes. While the area has access to irrigation and water, electricity is scarce despite access to power lines and many families are living well below the poverty line in homes similar to Mathieu's family.
Mathieu’s mother believes that a child raised by his biological family is more likely to function well in society and to have a more secure future. She also recognizes that the family must have certain socio-economic means for these to remain true. This is not the case for her, she regretted.
She is eager to welcome Mathieu home – with the support of Pwoje Espwa and Free the Kids in constructing a shelter she can proudly call home.
“As a social worker working in the field of child protection, I know that a child who is deprived of a family environment faces significant harm, could suffer developmental problems, long-term psychological injuries, risks academic failure and finally risks being cut off from the social fabric they need to grow up to adulthood.”
- Clifford CHARLES, PES Social Worker
Mathieu has already reintegrated with his family, as he and his family are staying with his grandmother while the home is completed. He is also getting ready for the first day of school, when he will walk to class at Pwoje Espwa from his new home.
Seeing Mathieu and Francia with their families is the reason why this work is so important. Every child deserves to grow up within an environment of love and welcome from their family and community. We are full of hope as their homes near completion!