Refij San Danje
Restavek. Haitian Creole term that means Rester: to stay. Avek: with.
Translates to child slave or domestic servant. Restaveks are usually females between the ages of 4 and 15. They do all of the household chores, such as caring for other children, cooking, cleaning, washing, and fetching water. They often labor for 14 hours a day. Unfortunately, they are most often severely physically abused, sexually abused, starved, and most likely not allowed to go to school.
They have no place. No voice. No value.
Photo from The Woman's Torch
In Haiti, a majority of trafficking cases are comprised of approximately 500,000 restavek children living in domestic servitude throughout the nation. The U.S. Department of State has confirmed a definite increase in the number of restavek children trafficked to the Dominican Republic. It is estimated that roughly 2,500 children are trafficked annually from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. - Borgen Magazine 2019
What does RAIZ do about it?
Partnering with a local agency, our vision is to rescue children from the worst cases of domestic slavery in the Dominican Republic. We will provide a loving and safe home, trauma counseling, medical care, education, and a family environment. These children will stay in our care as they recover and are fully capable to transition to a partnering orphanage or boarding school.
Photo from A Child's Hope Int.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SCRUBS Medical Mission
Affection. Food. Education. When asked what they want most in the world, Restaveks respond with these three things. They may seem simple, but they equate to the three most sought after things by humanity- love, hope, and freedom. Through the love and grace of God, we have the ability to give the enslaved children of the Dominican Republic these comforts. We will house several loving and sensitive staff members, including Haitian natives, to show the love these children deserve. Our in-house dietician and nurse will work to introduce a healthy and steady diet into the daily routine. Finally, our trauma sensitive teachers and counselors will provide an avenue of intellectual and self-discovery for the children through our home school program, sports & art projects, and field trips.
Child domestic slavery is a common and accepted practice. We believe that change begins with awareness and education. This is a long process that requires an intimate understanding of their cultural practices and long-term relationships based on love and respect. RAIZ Outreach Team will use these principles to begin instilling the idea of the absolute value of life within the churches and communities of this nation. We believe that the best way to defend these precious lives is to facilitate the radical changing power of the Love of Christ.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY VLAD SOKHIN
Staff for this project:
We are currently interviewing volunteer staff for Refij San Dange Project in the Dominican Republic.
Each staff position is a 12 month commitment and will begin January 10,2020. January and February will be used for culture and trauma training in the US. Target date for staff in the field is March 2021.
Each position requires a strong relationship with Christ, a minimum of 2 years of experience in their field, ministry experience preferred, and 3 strong work/ministry references. Each applicant is to email a detailed resume including education, work/ministry experience, and 3 work/ministry references with detailed contact information. If resume is approved, a video or in-person interview will be arranged.
First Year Positions Available:
Field/Outreach Team Leader
Worship Leader/Outreach Team Member
Sports Leader/Outreach Team Member
Spanish Interpreter/ Outreach Team Member
Internship Opportunities May Be Available
Contact Us For More Information
We are currently raising funds to break ground on this project in November 2020. RAIZ will lease a property in Dominican Republic for the first year. As we grow and are financially able, we will be building a safe home. Both leasing and purchasing properties will most likely require construction/ renovations to accommodate the children's and project needs.
Annual Tax and Budget Reports Will Be Available Online
Please email us or call for information on donating specifically for Project Refij San Dange (Safe House).
Thank you for your support!