August 1, 2017 at 11:30 am

Sociology Alum Works to End Child Slavery in Haiti

Jaclyn Lynch in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 2017

Jaclyn Lynch in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 2017

Ohio University alum Jaclyn Lynch ’14, ’16M is now the Child Sponsorship Coordinator at Restavek Freedom Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to ending restavek, which is a system of child slavery in Haiti.

She graduated in 2016 with an M.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University, after earning a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Psychology in 2014.

The organization not only provides funding for children trapped in restavek so they can go to school, it also creates many other programs and events to raise awareness, educate communities, and attempt to change the culture that supports child slavery in Haiti.

As the Child Sponsorship Coordinator, Lynch keeps in contact with sponsors from the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and many other regions to update them on how their sponsored child is doing.

The Best Part

“What I enjoy most about my job is that I am always learning new things. I had very little knowledge about the restavek system and everyday life in Haiti when I was hired. After spending each day reading about the lives of the children in our program and looking at pictures of the children in school, I have been able to gain a much better understanding of the issue and the daily lives of these children. I also recently spent a week in Port-au-Prince, where our main office is located in Haiti, which was a great opportunity to see our work firsthand and a fantastic learning experience!”

How OHIO Prepared Her

“My OHIO experience helped me get to where I am now in a lot of different ways, but the ones that stick out the most are practicing empathy and appreciating different cultures. Not only did I learn about many other cultures and ways of life while studying sociology, but I met people from lots of different backgrounds and from other parts of the world while attending Ohio University. Many of those people helped shape my worldview and expand my understanding of ways of life different from my own, which has been a great foundation to have while working for an organization that does work in a developing country.

“After completing the M.A. in Sociology, I felt more than prepared to enter my career in the non-profit sector. Not only did I learn a wealth of knowledge pertaining to current social issues, but the coursework also helped me to develop a variety of important skills. I now utilize critical thinking, professional writing, and public speaking in my daily tasks, and thanks to the program at Ohio University, I am confident in my abilities,” Lynch says.

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