Once upon a time, a little boy lost his family and his home to violent men with guns. He was forced to live in the streets of Port-au-Prince in the island of Haiti, scavenging for food and looking for a home.
Another little boy finds and feeds him. Instead of asking for his name, he asks what his new name should be. He could be “Hungry, Sleepy, or Little Traveler…” Since he is all of those things, he is then called “Selavi” (that is life).
Selavi discovers a world of children with similar stories and living on the streets. His new-found home would not last long, but caring adults find and help them build a new beginning, where their voices will no longer be stifled.
This is one of those books I fell in love with at first sight. It is based on the true story of many of Haiti’s homeless children who, once they found a home, also created a Haitian children’s radio station: Radyo Timoun.
To learn more about this radio station and life in the Lafanmi Selavi home, check out this article.