Guerda Constant has been the director of our partner organization in Haiti, Fondasyon Limye Lavi, since 2009. But her passion to defend vulnerable Haitian children and eradicate systems of slavery began long before that.
Guerda has years of front line experience working with Haitian Street Children, Children in Bondage and other local and international nonprofits. She is a natural leader, with degrees in economics and psychology.
She’s now taking her battle to the Internet, launching a new blog to share her insights and experiences from the field — inviting us all to reflect with her on how change can take root in Haiti.
“I am not here to define the morals of humanity,” Guerda writes in her inaugural post. “However, I think that ultimately, all mothers are mothers, all children are children, and every person is human, even if they do not have the same means, including education and finances. They all deserve respect and the right to live in dignity.”
Guerda has seen firsthand the resilience of her fellow Haitians, despite adverse experiences, and she believes that change is possible. Guerda calls for Haitians to first recognize the practice of restavek child slavery – where children are sent away to work as domestic servants — as harmful, and then take action to eliminate it.
“Taking a person into slavery is rendering that human being a zombie, meaning that person stands employed but not alive,” she writes. “These children need help in order to be productive parts of society, and these families need help so that they do not feel that they need to send their children away.”