On one of our trips into rural Haiti, we stopped to say hello to Miriam, who is a young woman who sells our Gadyen Dlo chlorine to local families so they can treat their drinking water. Miriam is very friendly, so she invited us into her house and we sat and talked for awhile.
While we were talking I played with a cute little girl with an infectious smile – just passing limes back and forth. When I asked how old the little girl was Miriam said, “One…and I have taken care of her ever since she was just one day old.” Imagine my shock when she continued “I found the baby by the river… yes, by the river…like Moses!”
As I sat troubled by this and not quite knowing what to think, Miriam left the room to get something and returned with a black plastic bag filled partly with leaves. I was confused about why she brought this until she exclaimed “This is the bag in which I found the baby. I immediately took her home and eventually adopted her officially.”
It turns out “Little Miss Moses” is not the only child abandoned out of desperation in Haiti. Raising a healthy, educated child is a huge challenge in the impoverished nation in our hemisphere. One in eleven children dies before their 5th birthday in Haiti due to preventable diseases like diarrhea and cholera.
Like so many situations in Haiti, the story of “Little Miss Moses” is both tragic and beautiful. It’s tragic that parents are forced to decide that it’s easier to allow a child to die young rather than go through the hardship of raising a child who will likely die anyway…but it’s beautiful that people like Miriam value life and make great personal sacrifices to save and raise these precious boys and girls. What keeps kids alive in Haiti are people, like Miriam, who realize that no one has to die from preventable causes and act to change their community and nation….one child at a time.