It is a special day for the SOS family in house number 8. The table is laden with delicious food and the living room is bursting with guests. Loud music is coming from the speakers as the star of the afternoon makes her appearance: It's Princess Marevie's second birthday.
Two years might not seem very old, but Marevie has a long history. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, she was found weighing only four kiliograms and suffering severe malnutrition. She had been in the care of her fathers girlfriend. The girlfriend had used Marevie to gain access to more food and medicine, but she had only been feeding her biological children, leaving Marevie to starve.
When an SOS co-worker first came accross Marevie, he took her straight to the hospital. It took months of treatment for her recover, to be able to walk and play. Marevie was taken into the SOS Children‘s Village in Santo on 10 February 2010, where she joined an SOS family, with a mother, aunties and brothers and sisters who look after and care for her. They give her love and space to develop.
Marevie is now a normal energetic two year old, dancing around her home in her bright white princess' dress. "She loves to dance", says her SOS mother, "she dances all the time."
During this past year, Marevie has turned famous, since her story touched many hearts. However, she seems unaware of all the excitement about her. She prefers playing with her best friend and SOS sisters to being the centre of attention. As SOS co-workers are reflecting how the past year changed this this little girl, Marevie dances away to play with the other children at her party.
One year on, SOS Children continue to support hundreds of children in Haiti. You can find out more information about our work in the country here.