Jean Rosmaine lives in the first section of Bresilienne in Haiti with her 8 siblings. ’’I used to have four sisters, but one of them died. I only have three now”, she says sadly. She is helping her mother whenever she can. “When my mother goes to fetch water, I make the bed and wash the dishes. I cook the rice, the corn and all kinds of stuff.’’
One of her brother recently suffered from cholera. ’’He washed his hand with dirty water and used to eat with it,” she declares. At the time that he got sick, the family did not use Chlorox nor Aquatabs.
During her brother’s episode of cholera, the little girl took care of him. ’’When my brother had cholera we brought him to the Bainet treatment center. I would bring him food, water, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. Every evening, when I was going to sleep I was thinking about him. One night, I had a bad dream that he would die and be thrown in a hole. I was afraid he could die but the nurse took very good care of him. I talked a lot with the nurse and I thought to myself that I wanted to become a nurse too when I will be a grown-up’’, she reveals with a smile.
Since that she has been protecting her siblings from diseases. ’’When we collect water from the pump, I make sure to wash the interior as well as the exterior of the jugs. But before doing anything else, we start by washing our hands. We also treat the water with an Aquatab, and wait 30 minutes before drinking it’’.
For the young girl, there is nothing more important than going to school. “If nobody can pay the school fees for me, I cook and sell food. I save up the profit and when term starts I give the money to my father so that he can pay the fees. I would rather not eat for a day then miss a day of school.”
If she had money, she would love to build a school and a church.’’ I would also plant fruit trees that my siblings could take care of’’, she concludes.
This story is part of the My Hero campaign, by UNICEF Haití.