Local Woman's Charity Work in Haiti Inspires - KLFY News 10

Local Woman's Charity Work in Haiti Inspires

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Not often do you hear of a young 20 something selling all their possessions and moving to a third world country to do charity work. But that's exactly what one young woman from Lafayette did.

Megan Boudreaux is no ordinary person. She went to Haiti twice on medical mission trips, but had no desire to return. Soon after though something clicked, and now she'll forever have connections to the impoverished Caribbean island.

A little over a year ago Boudreaux moved to Haiti. She left her normal life, and sold all of her possessions to help others.

"I didn't really know exactly what that looked like, but trusted that my path was set for me, so I just moved there and got going," says Boudreaux.

She started off with one classroom that taught 97 kids in the town of Gressier which is about 15 miles west of Port au Prince.

In nine months along with help, she built a six room school that teaches grades first through sixth. 356 kids are now taught there, and a feeding program feeds 700 children a week.

"It's just incredible to see how fast God's done everything and how fast things have happened," says Boudreaux.

In 2010, then 24, Boudreaux started her non-profit organization Respire Haiti. But even before that she led two medical mission trips to the country, but left with no desire to return.

"I thought that I would never live there, or move there, or do anything there because it's a hard place to live. I just started to learn more about the children there, and the Restaveks," explains Boudreaux.

Restaveks are child slaves, who are mainly used for house work. There are around 500,000 in the country. 75 percent of Boudreaux's students are Restaveks.

Boudreaux says, "it's difficult to get their caregivers or the people they've been sold to, or taken to, to let them come to school but when they are able to go to school they're just so excited."

And it was one Restavek, an eight year old girl name Michaelle that changed Boudreauxs life even more.

"She was throwing these rocks at these birds, and I tried to figure out why. She told me it's because I'm hungry and I'm gonna eat the birds," Boudreaux recounts.

A few months after that encounter. Michaelle was dropped off at Boudreaux's door by her owners. So Boudreaux is in the process of adopting Michaelle and her five year old sister Jessica.

"Those two are really my confirmation for everything they just keep me fighting, and they're just my motivation and passion behind fighting for all these children," says Boudreaux.

In the near future Respire Haiti will complete construction on a classroom for Kindergartners.  Boudreaux hopes to begin construction on a library and computer lab.

Her goal is to make Gressier self sustainable in the future and right now is working on programs to teach adults how to bake and grow their own fruits and vegtables.

To donate or find out more about Boudreaux and Respire Haiti you can log on to her website,

respirehaiti.org.

Doug MacDiarmid

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