Portland resident and Theo's Work board member, Rob Morris has organized a fundraiser to allow Forbes Magazine's Most Livable City in America, to help support the growth of another wonderful place, Hope Village in Haiti. He selected Labor Day, the date when our nation celebrates the hard-earned rights of the United States workforce, in order to contrast Haiti's restavek system, the current slavery situation many Haitian children are living.
Named for the Creole term meaning to "stay with" the practice at its best provides children, food, clothing and schooling in exchange for completing light chores. Unfortunately, it rarely operates at its best and often means that children work from morning to night with only scraps from their owner's table to eat and a floor to rest on.
Gulnara Shahinan, author of a special study commissioned by the United Nations, estimates that 300,000 children are trapped in this system that subjects them to multiple forms of abuse. Unfortunately the conditions in Haiti are so dire that many parents must select the restavek system as an alternative to watching their children perish before their eyes.
I copied the above from our website, freethekids.org, so that you can see what is happening up in Maine this weekend. We are grateful to Rob and his wife, Nancy, for organizing this event from which we will benefit. What good friends we have!