Merisena grew up in one of the most dangerous areas in Haiti called Cite Soleil and escaped her parents house when she was 9 because she was being abuse and then lived at a place called SAKALA where young people feel at home and safe. If you’ve seen the news about Haiti in the past, you probably know what we’re talking about when we say Cite Soleil. She is now a voice for young girls in Haiti.
Three years ago, we decided to make our first trip to Cite Soleil without knowing where exactly we were going to work but knew there was something greater for us to do there. Our founder Williamson Sintyl decided to contact Daniel Tillias, the founder of SAKALA HAITI for a visit during his trips in Haiti. Even though we didn’t get any good luck from friends to visit that place, we ended up going to Cite Soleil during chaos to learn more about SAKALA and see if he can partner with them, and we did! During our visit, we were guided to learn more about not only their mission and vision but more about this precious girl in the picture named “Merisena Cadeau (meaning gift). We left Cite Soleil that day with the confirmation that we need to work with SAKALA and help Merisena and the other 400 + children that were living at Sakala. Later that month, we trained 5 new mentors in Cite Soleil who were able to join the mentoring program to mentor young people in the area and Merisena was one of the mentees.
While Merisena continued to learn from her mentor, she then discover something she's good at which was her favorite game "Chess". As she continued to meet with her mentor to learn about the principles we teach in in the mentoring program, her decide to think and dream bigger has changed as she started believing in her gifts and talents, but more in herself.
Her love for chess has grown and she began to have deep belief that she can become anything she dreamed while staying at SAKALA. She then became a great player in the chess game and dedicated her life to learn more and train more, everyday.
SAKALA ended up signing her up for more chess competitions across the Caribbean and she continued to win those competitions with pride and confidence. in 2019, she started playing chess outside the Caribbean. Merisena Cadeau is very gifted!
She is graduated as a mentee from the Mentoring Program in Cite Soleil. She has qualified to go to Russia to represent Haiti for the Chess Tournament in 2022.
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