Protecting her family after the earthquake

In Haiti, a new kind of family emerges from the rubble.

young Haitian girl looks at the wreckage of a car after the hurricane

Everyone in Haiti was affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake. In its wake, 1.5 million people were left homeless. Sister Marie and her family were no exception. “We lost everything,” she said.

Thousands of people ended up in tent cities, which were overpopulated makeshift dwellings. “Life in a tent not life,” reflects Vijonet Demero, Bethany’s Country Director in Haiti.

The tents were insecure, leaving many people vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse. Sister Marie’s daughters became pregnant as a result of sexual abuse. With no one else to take responsibility of the girls, Sister Marie took on the role of both father and grandmother.

That’s when Sister Marie met Vijonet. Sister Marie had an idea to build a house on land away from the tent cities, so Vijonet and Bethany worked to make her dream a reality through our Family Preservation and Empowerment program.

After her house was complete, Sister Marie and her new family enjoyed a sense of peace. “Her life is different now. No more sexual abuse. No more physical abuse,” stated Vijonet. “They are protected and safe now.”

Sister Marie’s home offers her family the security they didn’t have in the tent cities.

Today, she’s known as the “Mother of the Hills.” As a local sage and icon, Sister Marie reflects on the legacy she’s creating. “I’d like to live a beautiful life.”

For just $35 per month, you can join others in sponsoring a family like Sister Marie’s.