Haiti

‘Please,’ I pleaded. ‘He must go to school. He must learn to read and write, or he will shine shoes on the street forever.’: After woman takes in boy, she fights for son’s education

“‘We will not take him here,’ she responded with a nod that made it obvious we had been dismissed. I look out at the 30 pairs of eyes that have been staring in our direction for the past 20 minutes. ‘I KNOW YOU CANNOT DENY A CHILD AN EDUCATION BASED UPON HIS NATIONALITY,’ I wanted to yell out. I could see the tears shining in his eyes. ‘Don’t worry, buddy, we aren’t done.’ I held my head high.”

‘You can offer him a better life than I can. Please. Take him,’ she begged. How can I fall in love with a child and then leave him behind?’: Woman takes in Haitian shoeshine boy, ‘I didn’t birth him, but he is mine’

“A man approached us. My Shoeshine Boy flinched. I saw money change hands. ‘Why did you do that?’ I asked. ‘For protection.’ His face crumpled. ‘He is with me,’ I boomed. Then Mama showed up at my door. ‘Even if it is only for a few months. Show him how to change his life.’ I felt her words like a slap in the face.”

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