Graduation Day

Graduation day at Kay Ste. Germaine Special Needs School last Friday 16th June 2017.
Eleven exceptional young people assembled to mark the end of their time at our school. Staff, students and family members gathered to support them.
In a country like Haiti, where individuals with disabilities are often ignored, dismissed and kept at the margins of society, it was a privilege to celebrate our graduates and see them participate fully in every aspect of Friday’s ceremony.
Our graduates were beautifully dressed for the occasion, they sang and read at Mass and their strengths and achievements were highlighted for all to hear. Their proud parents spoke movingly about the positive impact that our inclusive school environment has had on their children and families.
There were some tears on the day. That’s what happens when you leave a safe and supportive environment; it’s a very human reaction to change. But overall, it was a day of huge pride and even greater joy.
There is no greater motivator for us than to know that our work contributes to the confidence, happiness and well-being of the children who leave our school every year. We couldn’t ask for better ambassadors; our graduates advocate persuasively for themselves and others like them.
We will miss our graduates and wish them well in everything that the future holds for them. Our campus is quiet for the Summer now. We can’t wait to welcome our new students in September.
In the meantime, have a happy holiday and enjoy these colourful photos!

Therapist Training

Last Friday saw the completion of a two-week therapy training course here at Kay Ste. Germaine. The course was given by a team of international experts from the University of Genoa and was attended by 25 therapeutic and medical staff.
The attendees included NPH Haiti therapists and staff from our partner organisation Akyson Gasmy, a small NGO that delivers basic services to isolated families in the north-west of the country. It was also attended by staff from two local hospitals and a prosthetic centre.
The training was intensive and covered topics such as brain function, child development, motor skills and disability rights. It also included practical demonstrations of technique with children from our services.
We would like to extend our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to Caterina Castagneto, Carlo Amoretti, Sabrina Cerutti and Martina Canone for travelling to Haiti on a voluntary basis to share their knowledge and expertise with us. The kindness in that gesture was very much appreciated. We would also like to thank the Rotary Club in Imperia and the University of Genoa for their financial and practical support of this visit. We are very grateful to you.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge the commitment of all attendees, who grasped this learning opportunity with both hands. Many Haitian children will benefit from that learning in terms of the enhanced rehabilitative care that will be delivered here. Their parents and families will also feel the effects of the work that took place.
NPH Haiti is passionately committed to strengthening its professional capacity and to contributing to medical expertise at a national level. Our ultimate aim is to achieve participation, equality and full human rights for individuals with disability in Haiti. Quality training initiatives like this take us one step closer to that goal.
Thanks to everyone involved. You have heartened us on our journey. We look forward to further collaboration with you and to the continuation of this excellent training programme in September 2017 and early 2018.