My name is Daïna and I am 16 years old. I grew up in a violent home where my dad beat and cursed my mom, claiming that we were not his children. Three years ago when my brother died my dad blamed my mother and threatened to kill her. They could not live together because of the abuse and anger.
At a young age my dad introduced me to addictive substances and I began to smoke, drink, and use cocaine. My mother cried every night because of my choices; I would beat her in response and finally left her house. First I went to my father's, but he demanded I earn money every night, refused to care for me and I felt threaten by his friends who wanted to use me sexually. My dad didn't want me so I left to live with my grandmother, but she would not feed me so I eventually ended up living in a ghetto. I was fatherless, homeless, and lived with a gangster who stole and killed innocents. I was 14 years.
One day I ran away from him, but my bad choices were only beginning. For $50.00 I was lured to a beach with some other Haitian women and on to a boat by some American men, I thought everything was going fine until the police came and put me in jail, and the FBI arrested the men. The story made the news and my reputation became even worse, so I created a new version of me. I called myself crazy and started a clan called the Piranhas. I was the leader of the group and every Saturday we would go partying. One night I met a guy, he told me that he was going to leave Haiti, had money to give me and told me to come get the money. I decided to go meet him at his office but when I got there he showed me his police uniform and a gun. My heart skipped a beat as he started to touch me. I begged him not to rape me he but he had his way with me and sent me home in a taxi. I never told anyone what had happened.
I was struggling at school; I used marijuana and after several failed semesters I was kicked out, I went to take the government exam for my last grade and didn't pass. I spent my days fighting, smoking crack, and taking other women's boyfriends. I got pregnant by a man, even though I didn't really love him, because I felt loved and had all his attention and affection, but at 4 months I aborted the baby.
My life was bad and I knew that I needed to be changed and renewed. I thought about a place my cousin had told me about called Haiti Teen Challenge. I wasn't sure I wanted to go, but I was living in the darkness, I was blind and could not see how to get out of the life I was in.
I have now been in the HTC program for six months. I have learned how to forgive, how to obey but most importantly I have accepted Jesus Christ. Knowing God has been the best choice I have ever made. He died so I could be in the place where I am now. Through His mercy He gives me a new life, He gives me light, He rescued me and accepted me into His family.
I am learning to love people and live with people around me. I still struggle with my addictions, the drugs, alcohol, and sex, but the morning chapels and the classes are redefining my future. When I graduate I want to continue my education in order to go back to my community to make a difference. I really love children so I want to teach them about how much God loves them, and about all that I learn here at HTC.
I want to say a big thank you to you, because you gave me the opportunity to be part of Haiti Teen Challenge. With Jesus by my side, I am working hard to become the best version of the person He created me to be. Please pray for me.
"Building godly leaders of integrity,
so Haitians are empowered to rebuild their nation."
Haiti Teen Challenge
740 East 24th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404
651.592.8774 (Vicki Jefferis)
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Défi Jeaunesse D’Haïti
108, Avenue Des Tourterelles
Delmas 75, Haïti