What is Foyer Maurice Sixto?
Foyer Maurice Sixto is a school in Carrefour, Haiti, 30 miles west of Port-au-Prince. Foyer Maurice Sixto’s motto is Tout timoun se timoun, tout timoun gen menm dwa (All children are children, and all children have the same rights.)
Founded in 1989, the school is named after the famous sociologist, and great observer of Haitian society, Maurice Sixto. He wrote about the problem of the “sentaniz” or more commonly known as “restavek,” which describes children living in domesticity. They typically come from country-side families who cannot support all of their children, and are given up when a more wealthy relative or family friend comes along. They promise a better life and education for the child in an urban center, but more often than not the child is not sent to school. Rather they are forced to do manual labor, cleaning, cooking, and other household chores. These children grow up without knowing the joy and freedom of childhood, and are often mistreated. FMS invites Restavek children to come and feel a part of a family, offering them access to food, education, and professional training. All children receive a free hot meal every day.
There are two main parts to FMS; the professional school, which has been a part of the school since it’s inception, and the talent school which was added in 2009. The professional school focuses on basic and vocational skills. Children under the age of sixteen attend primary school where they receive instruction in reading, writing, and math. Children ages 16-24 study vocations such as culinary arts, sewing, carpentry, and car repair. If a child has gained all they can from FMS, but would like to continue their vocational studies, FMS will pay for them to further their education at another school.
The talent school has four programs: music, dance, theatre and soccer. It serves approximately 450 students in the Carrefour area, and these students may also participate in the professional school programs. They currently have two bands. Pere Miguel believes that in showing the host families and the community how talented the Restavek children are, FMS will raise their stature and improve their quality of life.
Watch this short video to hear from the