Widows in Haiti

There are two definitions for the word “widow.”  The legal definition involves a woman who is alone, secondary to the death of her husband.  The second, more informal definition is a woman whose husband is alive, yet completely absent within the home.

This is usually the norm in Haiti, due to the overtly accepted practice of male promiscuity within Haitian culture. Naomi is an informal widow, in that the man in her life is very seldom around (we have only seen him once in two years), thus making Naomi a single mom. She has 2 boys and 2 girls. One of the girls is actually not hers though. When her neighbor died, a year ago, she took in her neighbor’s only surviving daughter.

Naomi has a little garden in which she grows things to sell at the market, but it barely brings in enough money for her family to eat.



As long as we eat every 2-3 days, we survive.


Putting your hope in one child

They “chose” Chidle, (pronounced sheed-lay), the second son, to be “the hope for their family.” That means any extra money goes to him to go to school, to buy a uniform, to pay for books. When they have a good year, Chidle stays in school, but whenever they can’t pay what’s due for the month, he is taken out, resulting in perpetual “catching up.”

“Every day the situation gets worse, I have no one.” Naomi says as she fights back tears, attempting to maintain her dignity.



When Charis moved into Naomi’s neighborhood, the village of Marigot, we called all of the village together – all those who could not afford to put their kids in school.  We told them that we are now paying the teachers at Bon Berger Christian School, so if they wanted their children to attend school, we could send them there for FREE.

“God has heard my prayers!  Now Wesley and Chidle are enrolled in school.  Sajean and Kalindia will start next year when they are old enough.”

CHARIS bought all the new students new uniforms and paid for their books and materials.  There was so much excitement in village when the new school year started.



Consider helping a family like Naomi's.

$3/month pays for an entire year of schooling for one child. And that education can save an entire family's life.

"Chidle wants to be a doctor like Dr. Henderson when he grows up.  Wesley wants to be either a teacher or a pastor."

- Naomie says with hope in her voice.