My heart is breaking.
I got a message this morning that one of the young men who worked for us on the island is leaving Wednesday to move to Chile.
He will leave his wife and three little children behind.
He believes that is his only hope to find work to support his family.
Duma is a hardworking, honest, loving, fun, genuinely joyful man. Had I known that this was his plan, we would have made something work. He didn’t want to inconvenience me. And now it’s too late. His ticket has been bought and his rent paid with a loan he took from a brother who moved to Brazil to find work.
When we moved to the mainland, we had a really difficult time finding staff for our new place. It is hard finding people who you can trust with your family and belongings. We didn’t want to take Duma away from his family on the island, so we didn’t ask him to
come with us. Now he is moving to Chile.
Over the past year, this has happened over and over. We find good, hardworking, honest people and want to employ them, and then we hear they moved to Chile so they can make more money to support their families. The sad reality is that these men who leave to support their families many times will never return to Haiti. It breaks my heart to think that they might possibly never see their children again…just for the hope that they may be able to give them a better life here in Haiti.
The truth is, many get on that plane and head to Chile with no contacts once they get there. No job already lined up. Just more hope than they have here in Haiti of finding a job.
So today…LABOR DAY…while you’re sitting home, or enjoying time with family and friends, please…truly be THANKFUL for the fact that you have so many opportunities. You may not love your job every day. But you HAVE a job. And if you don’t…there are PLENTY of options for you…even if it’s not something you’d enjoy. You would still be able to put food on the table for your family. Duma and many like him who have asked us for work are willing to do whatever it takes…from picking up dog poop…to moving to another country to provide for their family.
Employment is a blessing. One that many American’s take for granted. Be thankful.