Mirielle Nelichica Rivien is 13 years old, and the eldest daughter of her family of four children and she is in 8th grade. She used to live in the neighborhood of Carrefour Feuille, in Port au Prince, but in September she experienced the horror of gangs setting fire to her house. The family lost everything they owned and ended up on the street. They barely have a shelter in the town square and there are not many people around to provide protection, so it was very dangerous for teen-aged Mirielle.
Our friend Claudine has taken Mirielle into her home, where several people already live. In addition to Claudine, her husband and her two children, Claudine’s sister Achecaina (Achou) and another neighborhood child named Mina also live there. But Claudine wants to protect Mirielle as best she can, and since Mirielle’s family can’t pay for her to go to school, Claudine applied for a scholarship. The board at ONE feels, along with Claudine, that the best thing Mirielle could be doing is going to school and finding some sense of normalcy. Claudine says that Achecaina and Mina love having her there, and Achecaina is able to help her with schoolwork, since Mirielle is a little behind due to her circumstances. We are paying for Mirielle to get some extra tutoring as well, to help her catch up.
Claudine is so dedicated to helping these girls that when she and her husband were forced to move out of their home, they looked only for a home in the same neighborhood, so that Mirielle, Achecaina, and Mina could stay in the same school. We are happy to be able to help Claudine support Mirielle, and happy to give Mirielle something to look forward to every day, and perhaps a path to a brighter future.
Mirielle sent us a letter telling us a little about herself and what she hopes to do in life. We have translated it here.
A big greeting to you who are going to read this letter. It is a pleasure for me to talk to you a little about me.
My name is Mirielle Nelichica Rivien. I am the eldest in a family of four children. I see my father work very hard to earn the daily bread, to build our house. All that was in vain, because now we are on the street.
I am a very joyful, kind, intelligent and very interesting girl. My passion is reading. I love most to play with my sister and my little brother; unfortunately, I am not with them now.
At my auntie Claudine’s house everything is going better now for me. I have Achecaina, Mina, Jahood, for play and for work, I have days that are filled with joy.I love to participate in all the activities in my classes and at home, and sometimes I distract myself with my activities as a reaction to forget everything.
Someday I would like to become a great obstetrician to help and relieve pregnant women. Last June I saw my mother suffering due to lack of care while giving birth to my little sister.
A big hug to you for having said yes to Auntie Claudine, who solicited aid for me to go to school. Without your help this year I would not be able to take the first step in my dream.
May the good lord in his compassion come to you and protect you.
Mirielle Nelichica Rivien
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