IMPACT
01/29/2015 11:57 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Family Reunited With Son Forced Into Child Slavery After Haiti Earthquake Tore Them Apart

Chantale's life was turned upside down when the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti tore her family apart.

Not only was she forced to move out of her home and into Canaan, a settlement for earthquake victims more than an hour away, she was separated from her eldest son, Jacky, for four years following the devastation.

Now, an online campaign is aiming to help Chantale, a single mother of five, build a sustainable future for herself and her family.

According to Crowdrise, Jacky, who was 8 years old in 2010, was forced into child slavery after being separated from his mom. He escaped servitude but was homeless. In order to survive, he lived on the streets, begged for food and slept under abandoned cars.

Jacky was discovered living without shelter last July by Haiti Mama, a nonprofit committed to connecting homeless children with their families, Crowdrise told The Huffington Post. Within a month, the organization's social work team tracked down Jacky's maternal aunt, who informed them Chantale was living in Canaan.

To help Chantale and her family access basic living essentials -- including food, a new home, furniture and baby supplies -- donate using the widget below.

Last August, a social worker from Haiti Mama took Jacky to Canaan in search of his mom, according to Crowdrise. Jacky spotted Chantale, and the two ran to one another with outstretched arms, crying.

Although the family is now whole again, Chantale is still struggling to build a better life for her children.

She's one of many still trying to overcome the tragedy of the 2010 disaster.

According to Oxfam, 1.5 million people were left homeless after the earthquake. Canaan, which is about 8.8 square miles, is still home to somewhere between 150,000 to 200,000 people who are living without a formal water or energy supply, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The Crowdrise fundraiser for Chantale and her family is aiming to raise funds for housing, utilities, furniture, food, school and baby supplies, as well as money for Chantale to start her own business. Learn more and take action here.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Haitian Baby Survives Quake, Reunites With Family
CONVERSATIONS