Why was I born where I was born?

It’s a question driven out of the capacity for empathy, not the self-centeredness of youth: Why was I born where I was born? What fate intervened?

The Rev. Roger Bowen has seen the question arise on his several decades of taking young Americans to Haiti first as a chaplain and headmaster of Episcopal schools and now in retirement in Staunton, Virginia:

The sights and sounds of Haiti, the resilience of people living in wretched poverty, the sharing that goes on between two cultures — all of it reminds him of his years with the Peace Corps. It’s the Peace Corps with a spiritual twist, he says.

When they came back to the mission where they were staying, the American teens would discuss what they’d learned.

“Oftentimes there would be tears,” Bowen said. “They’d never seen anything like this, kids with flies in their eyes, distended bellies. Still, they made the connection.”

A common question would be: “Why was I born where I was born and Jean born where he was born? And what are we supposed to do about it?”

Read it all in the Staunton News Leader.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitian children work as indentured servants, sold by their parents who cannot afford to keep them:

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