Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh, oh

Afternoon showers are becoming a daily occurrence.  When folks see this kind of sky they start rushing things a bit so as not to be caught in a downpour.


  1. How are children at Project Espwa protected from physical and sexual abuse? What systems and procedures are in place to protect children? Where is the child protection policy posted? Who does a child, staff member or teacher tell if he or she is experiencing or supects child abuse?
    I can't get answers from "Free the Kids" chairman.
    Paul Kendrick
    Freeport, Maine

  2. Our Policies and Procedures Manual clearly states that any action leading to the abuse of a child is not tolerated. Employees, volunteers and visitors are all required to sign a Code of Conduct which is explicit. Behavior that demeans a child or is abusive in any way will lead to immediate consequences. We have had to fire several employees and teachers because of physical abuse disguised as discipline. Our employees and children partake in regular training sessions that deal with this topic and the children are encouraged to report any questionable behavior to their housemother, teacher or coordinator. The report goes to our ChildCare Director, Mrs Bernonie Rocheville, who investigates the situation. If she feels there was a question of abuse, the Executive Committee is made aware and a decision is made to contact the Department of Human Services. Because they do not have the necessary resources available to them, the folks at the United Nations Human Rights Office are often called in to help with the investigation. The National Police now have a Protective Service for Children Department and are always available to assist. I hope this abbreviated response to your important question is satisfactory. When pulling these systems and procedures together we were hard pressed to find another shelter/orphanage that could help us so we looked on-line and found some really good stuff which we integrated. Training sessions run by outside agencies have helped the department heads and Executive Committee become better adept at identifying behaviors in the children that could indicate there's a problem going on. I'd say that we have a good handle on this but we are certainly open to becoming more proficient in defending the children's rights and would welcome any assistance.
    I'm a little surprised to read that you did not get answers from the FTK board as they have all shown me a keen interest in assuring a safe place for the children in southern Haiti. Thanks for your comment and questions.

  3. Do you know of any such 24 hour hot lines that are available with Kreyol speakers to field the calls?