Like many Haitian children, Katiana grew up in extreme poverty. Her family lived in the mountains surrounding Carrefour, commuting into town every day to find work. Unable to support her family, Katiana’s mother left Carrefour behind, and her family with it.
Katiana was left to fend for herself at 13, and because of her age, most orphanages refused to take her in. To survive, she lived as a restavèk (an unpaid indentured servant), unable to go to school. Though common practice in Haiti, restaveks aren’t considered part of the family (even if they’re related), and many are abused. Hundreds of thousands of Haitian kids live like this, and the U.N. considers it a form of modern-day slavery.
Now, Katiana is thriving. She’s a bright young woman who does well in school and is an excellent role model for the younger kids. She spends her free time reading or helping around the house, and dreams of either becoming a nurse or opening her own restaurant one day. She has a real gift for language and is almost fluent in English and also knows French, as well as her native language Haitian Creole. This driven, passionate girl will go far no matter what she decides and we’re happy to help her get there!