Sovenel Klemanso

On our first night in Port-au-Prince with the Hearts For Haitian Humanity team, we stopped by a church where our friend Emilio is a deacon. H3 had donated some funds for a meal for the many children whom the church serves. In talking with one of the kids, Abdias learned that the young man was homeless, living in an abandoned house close to the church. The 16-year-old, named Sovenel Klemanso, was orphaned at the age of 9 when both his parents died from an illness. His wish was to go back to school. Abdias asked if he would take us to where he slept…

Sovenel_1

Sovenel leads the way to the house, abandoned by a Haitian who moved to the US and never looked back, where he and several other people live.

Sovenel_2

Sovenel’s corner of the house. Often when it rains the water comes down through the ceiling.

Sovenel_3

Abdias holds Sovenel as the young man opens up to him about his life. Perhaps because Abdias was himself orphaned at age 10, they developed a bond, and Sovenel confided in him. He said it upset him when men would “visit” the women also living in the house, while he and the other children were there.

Sovenel_4

Three days later, we saw Sovenel outside the church. I asked to take a photo of him, and he said ok, and just pierced me with those eyes. He stayed outside the church because he said he didn’t have nice enough clothes to wear inside at the service.

Dajah and a friend find out more about Sovenel outside the church on Sunday.

Dajah and a friend find out more about Sovenel outside the church on Sunday.

Abdias and Dajah talk to Sovenel about finding a place for him to live.

Abdias and Dajah talk to Sovenel about finding a place for him to live.

Sovenel_7

On Tuesday, we visited Sovenel at the abandoned house where he has been squatting, to bring him clothes and supplies, and especially to meet Yves Toussaint, who agreed to meet him and possibly take him into his home.

Sovenel waits as Yves talks to a friend about bringing the boy into his home.

Sovenel waits as Yves talks to a friend about bringing the boy into his home.

Sovenel looks at his new backpack inside his room at the house.

Sovenel looks at his new backpack inside his room at the house.

Sovenel_10

Abdias helps Sovenel try on piece after piece of clothing. Afterwards, he quietly asked Abdias if there was any way he could get a haircut.

Sovenel gets dressed in a new outfit before heading to the barbershop.

Sovenel gets dressed in a new outfit before heading to the barbershop.

As of last Friday, Sovenel is living with Yves. He has security, though Yves is having a difficult time paying for enough food to feed a teenage boy. Sovenel still very much wants to go to school, which starts on September 1st. It will cost $200 to attend for the year.

You can donate directly to Sovenel and Yves by going to https://www.gofundme.com/sovenel

UPDATE: In October we were back in Haiti, and had the chance to check in on Sovenel. He was doing well – back in school and living with Emilio, Abdias’s cousin and our driver extraordinaire.

h3hmblog_58

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s