Roodnaëlle Marius is surrounded by love. A twelve-year-old 7th grader at St. Paul’s School, she lives with her mom, her dad, her grandpa and her sister and brother. They are a close-knit family who shares the daily work load and together view life with a contagious energy and joy that is evident in all they do. Roodnaëlle is the middle child, close in age to her brother, Roodens who a 14 year-old 9th grader at St. Paul’s. Her little sister, Djoumia, is just a year old and both Roodnaëlle and Roodens help keep their active little sister safe and happy.
When asked about her life, Roodnaëlle talks about her love of her church. She belongs to Legliz Pentacostal de Carrefou Lendi. The church happens to be next to her house, and her father, Ricardo, is the minister there. It is obviously a place of comfort and support for her. She explains it as helping her with her choices in life! Each Friday, the church holds a special song session for children and Roodnaëlle really enjoys that.
School is also important to this bright young girl, also nicknamed Nayou. She likes math, school in general and especially her principal, Met Maxo. When she is not studying, she loves to dance. Last year, she joined the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Club and is able to practice her dancing often with GEM. Last year she was also able to show off her acting skills when the club did a skit about girls being brought into childhood slavery; how it happens and what life is like for the children who fall into this terrible situation. A child slave is called a restavek in Haiti, and in the girls’ skit, Nayou skillfully played the part of the restavek.
As a 7th grader at St. Paul’s, Nayou is also involved in the agriculture program. So far this year, she has participated in Saturday morning garden club and planted her own peppers. Stay tuned to find out how her garden grows and how she will participate in this Spring’s GEM Club program!