Wealth of host families
In Haiti, many poor rural families hoping to provide a better life for their children, will send them to live as domestic servants for wealthier families. These children are known as Restaveks. Girls living in Restavek are extremely vulnerable to emotional physical, and sexual abuse. They are also at heightened risk of falling into the hands of human traffickers. Let’s take a closer look at the actual households where they end up.
Data collected by CF International in 2011 shows that over 50% of families with Restaveks are deemed wealthy, with 28% considered part of the wealthiest class in Haiti. These more affluent families typically consist of between 4 to 6 members with heads of households usually in their 30’s. It should be noted that the term “wealthy” in Haiti does not necessarily mean the same thing as “wealthy” to someone living in a more prosperous western country. In fact, many times the host families these children are sent to live with are only marginally better off than the children’s own family.
We can also see that class differences are clear in the data. Half of Restavek households are low on the wealth index and are classified as being among the poorer and poorest classes. These households typically have 6 or more members and are the most likely to have between 9 and 10 members. This class is also most likely to be older in age, often between their 50’s and 70’s.
Our mission is to provide a safe community and education for all Restavek girls, whether they’re coming from the wealthiest or the poorest households. Even though wealthy households might have the means to provide security for these young girls, being a Restavek, an indentured child, is still a far cry from security, safety, and a break in the chain of poverty.