In 2012, we journeyed to Haiti with the purpose of administering surveys for a non-profit called One 17 International, a great organization building schools for kids in Haiti. Our goal was to determine the educational needs of the local community, but God opened our eyes to a different injustice.
Her name was Nadege. A sweet lady who warmly welcomed us into her home. She told us she was single with three children. We then asked if her children shared the same father. She said, “yes.” Our next question was simple, “Do you think you will marry their father?” Nadege’s sweet demeanor immediately changed. She responded with an abrupt, “NO, NO, NO!” It quickly became clear that her words carried within them a deep hurt.
Our interaction with Nadege sparked many questions as to why the marriage question triggered such a negative response. As we shared her story and researched sexual violence in Haiti, our hypothesis was "perhaps Nadege was a survivor."
We may never know the specifics of Nadege’s story, but we do know that God used our interaction with her to birth a passion within us to do something about the injustice of sexual violence against women. It is fitting that Nadege’s name means HOPE because it is our prayer that this organization will restore hope to survivors in Haiti. One day we hope to see an end to this injustice completely.