Meet the Children
Accilene, age 13, lives in the Cayes commune in the Sud department, in a low-income area that faces challenges with clean water and sanitation. Accilene cradled her new shoes gently and told IMA staff she would “protect” them. Her teacher Antoine Zacharie described her as intelligent and “always willing to volunteer”—a trait she confirmed when she discussed her future.
“When I grow up, I want to be a nurse to serve my people,” she told IMA.
Kevenson is a 10-year-old boy from the Abricots commune in the Grand’Anse department. His community was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and the local livelihoods in agriculture, fishing and livestock farming were severely affected. According to IMA staff, hunger is raging and the economic situation continues to decline.
Kevenson was grateful for his new shoes and told IMA staff he used to have another pair of TOMS that IMA gave him, but they no longer fit. Kevenson said, “I love the shoes I was given, but my mother loves them even more than me, because she is a merchant of sea salt and cannot afford to buy me a new pair of shoes.” His teacher Bien Aime Bergeny told IMA that Kevenson is intelligent and a good student, but like many others, his family struggles to pay tuition fees.
Still, Kevenson looks ahead to the future. He hopes to become an engineer, and—he told an IMA staffer—“I would like to replace you and have the opportunity to give shoes in my community.”