It’s hard to imagine a mother walking away from two young sons. But it happened to Maliel and Djobany. They lived with their mother and father in Gonaives, Haiti, until the day their mother left for the Dominican Republic to look for a job. Since then, she has not returned. The boys, ages 9 and 11, stayed at home alone all day in a mud hut while their father went to work at the gravel pits. His job was to shovel gravel and sand into construction trucks. Maliel and Djobany did not go to school, and often they went without a meal since their father did not return home until after dark. Both boys suffered from malnutrition and neglect.
Fortunately, the brothers were taken in by a children’s home run by Rise Against Hunger partner Hearts and Hands for Haiti. Stan Wiebe, who works with local Haitians who founded and operate the home, reports that Maliel and Djobany’s health has greatly improved after living in the home and eating Rise Against Hunger meals, fortified with vitamins. Plus, they get to go to school and receive supervised care in a safe environment.
Djobany says, “I love school, and happy to eat the special food.” He loves science and studying. His older brother, Maliel, loves history and reading. The brothers both look healthy now. They are grateful to receive three meals each day.
As the boys look forward to a brighter future, it’s still hard to escape their past. Recently Stan and Robinson, the home’s director, took the boys to their former home to visit their father, who had been in prison. After seeing where the boys grew up, Stan said, “It became very clear to me once again what a huge and life-altering opportunity it is for these youth to live in the children’s home.”