In 2010, Drelene’s parents were faced with a terrible and desperate situation. Their situation was critical. Food was scarce and money scarcer. Despite all of their efforts, they came to realise: They couldn’t afford to keep their daughter.
Drelene’s aunt had offered to take her, providing Drelene work for her keep. Desperate to keep Drelene from an uncertain future, Drelene’s mother took her to the ACFFC and asked staff to put her on the waiting list. They did, with the note: “Critical – major need.”
In June, a place became available. Drelene arrived at the ACFFC with no shoes and an empty stomach. Food had been so hard to come by for Drelene and her family that she initially thought staff at the ACFFC had made a mistake when they offered her three meals a day. What about the children who hadn’t had petit dejeuner? Wasn’t the food for them, as well?
Now, almost three years later, she will still occasionally refuse a meal and ask if she can take it home for her mother. The ACFFC sends food to families as often as possible, but Drelene still thinks about her mother.
Both of Drelene’s parents struggle to find work. Her mother and father are illiterate, which severely hampers their prospects. According to Unicef, 51% of Haiti’s population was illiterate in 2010. Before arriving at the ACFFC, Drelene herself had never completed a full year of education. There was simply never enough money for her to attend school.
But thanks to the ACFFC and Random Acts supporters, Drelene has just passed second grade! She’ll grow up able to read and write, and her future prospects are immeasurably improved as a result. In a country with such a low literacy rate, reading and writing are valuable skills.
As you’ve probably guessed, Drelene is a kind and thoughtful little girl. From the moment she arrived at the ACFFC, she’s been a sweet and cheerful presence in lessons and at meals. In the words of ACFFC staff: “She is one of those children who immediately fell into place at the ACFFC. It’s as if she’s been there forever.”
Thanks to your kind donations, Drelene’s future has been made a little more secure. She still faces battles, but she’s gained vital skills and, with a little luck, will not be confronted by anything like the terrible choice that confronted her parents in those long, dark months after the earthquake.