Editor’s Note: This story was taken from the FTS website and edited.
Like tens of thousands of children in Haiti, Cam-Suze was held as a restavec, a child slave. Haitian parents who lack the resources required to support their children must often send them to work for a host household as domestic servants. However, restavec is considered modern day slavery since children may be denied a proper education, and could be abused, beaten, or raped.
But, Cam-Suze’s life changed when she met Free the Slaves’ partner, Limye Lavi.
THEN AND NOW
When she was recently asked to contrast her life now with a childhood in slavery she said: “Oh my life was in danger! [But now] my life is beautiful.”
The term ‘beautiful’ certainly wouldn’t describe the early years of Cam-Suze’s life. In fact, she says she lived in misery. Now 15 years old, she was first enslaved at the age of six. Like many restavec children in Haiti, she was forced to work for a family. Looking back, Cam-Suze remembers: “I did a lot of work. I would carry water, I would sweep. I would take the children to school [and] they would beat me, they hit me.”
All of this was before being rescued by Limye Lavi, Free the Slaves partner organization in Haiti. Now, reunited with her mother, Cam-Suze recognizes that she “went through a lot of misery and it’s thanks to Limye Lavi that I’m here today, not doing that any more.” She goes on to say that now she’s happy because “I’ve been delivered from the misery and now I’m in school.”
And what would she say to those who helped bring her to freedom? “I would lift [them] up and carry them on my head to tell them ‘thank you for coming and getting me.’”
Looking forward, she says, “I’d like to do very well in school so I can help my mother and help other people who are going through that misery too.”
Want to be an abolitionist and rescue children like Cam-Suze? Visit The Freedom Education Project and join our campaign to free a village in India and provide CA public schools with books on slavery!
You change one person, you change the world.