130 • pearls around the neck
something was a Chance. That chance was an education. I made a promise to myself there and then: I
would spend the rest of my life giving children like Slovakin a voice and a chance in this hard world and
the even harsher surroundings they live in. I saw the unfairness of the situation, Slovakin saw me as a
“Chance” to help him, when he thought he was loosing that chance he reacted the same way any of us
would out of desperation. I had realized what had happened. This was only the beginning…for me.
Some people may ask me: “Why?” The answer is simple: “Because I can.” The interactions I have with
these resilient, young and innocent children inspire me to always carry on. I come from a place where
you can be what ever you want to be if you’re willing to push yourself there. Society is on our side;
education is a right not a privilege. Haiti, like many other countries around the world is unfortunate
enough to fall under the ‘developing’ country category, the Third World. Whether it is a natural
disaster, foreign intervention or corruption, there are many reasons why Haitians suffer far more than
most of us. I am aware that I cannot change the world as a whole but to improve the life of even one
individual is, in my eyes, a success.
Olivia has been to Haiti 6 times since the earthquake. This magnitude 7.0 earthquake killed 300,000 people and left 1,5
million homeless. Before the quake, Haiti counted 380,000 orphans. That number more than doubled on January 12th,
2010. Please follow Olivia, founder of EduHaitian, an organization that sponsors the education of orphan children through
several selected schools in Port au Prince. Olivia represents a generation of compassionate young adults that travels the
globe, following an unconventional path, taking risks, connecting on the web, uniting, creating and committing to a cause.
Olivia started a degree in International Studies at Goldsmiths University of London in September 2012.
Author: Olivia Owen, Haiti, 2010/2012
Olivia is 21, she is British and owns a Diploma in Childcare& Education.
Illustration: Catherine Beeckman