Special Needs in Haiti
Since 1993 our Special Needs program has provided residential care, education and therapy to children and adults with physiological and neurological conditions in Haiti. Here in Haiti children with special needs are very often abandoned by their parents, they simply don’t know how to take care of them and they also can’t afford it. While the medication for epilepsy alone can cost a month’s wages, if you are lucky enough to be working! Typically these children are also frequently humiliated by society. Often they are kept locked in a room all day while the mother tries to make ends meet and if she does take her child out she is continually bombarded by people telling her to “dump that useless thing that will never be any good”.
This stark realisation has seen our programme evolve from one that solely provides a home to abandoned children to tackling some of the related issues head on. This brochure illustrates the pillars of our program, education, rehabilitation, social care, residential care and training. By focusing on these we really believe that we make lasting changes to the lives of people with special needs in Haiti.
Throughout these past 22 years it has been a privilege for all those who have worked on the programme to see smiling faces every day, and truly, without the help and support of you and people like you our wonderful program would not be possible. Your support has lifted our program to where it is today and your contribution has been fantastic, but the need is still great!
We ask that you join us. Help us to keep doing what we are doing. Help us to do more! For those of you who have already supported us, thank you. And for those of you who are new to our work, we hope that you are inspired to join us on this journey and support us in the years to come.
Special Needs Program
With your support we have been able to develop four facilities that deliver a high quality of care, education and rehabilitation to children and adults with Special Needs in Haiti. This continued support will help to us to maintain the service we provide and further expand our teacher/therapist training program to the north of the country. Through these efforts we believe that we will reduce the likelihood of abandonment and that we will increase Haiti’s capacity to become more self reliant in the provision of therapeutic health care to its citizens with special needs
Kay Christine was established in Kenscoff in May 1993. Here at our residential facility we provide 24 hour care to 35 individuals with disabilities ranging from the mild to severe. International visiting specialists such as UNICEF and Handicapped International have noted the excellent quality of life the children and adults with severe disabilities in our care receive. Inspired by the success and knowledge gained from this we expanded the program to reach out into the communities of Port-au-Prince and offer support to families that had children with disabilities/special needs.
Kay Germaine is the only special education school of its kind in Haiti. Here we provide specialised education services to children with special needs. Kay Germaine is also unique in that our skilled expat volunteers train and up skill local therapists giving our program a greater degree of sustainability and self sufficiency into the future. In Kay Germaine we have 9 class rooms, a sensory room, 5 rehabilitation rooms and a swimming pool for aquatic therapy.
Kay Gabriel is our newest facility. Located on the same site as Kay Germaine, here we provide rehabilitative therapy for children and adults with neurological disorders. After the earthquake in 2010, the demand for our therapy services increased dramatically. Kay Germaine began to offer therapy to the victims (adults and children), while also continuing to provide physical therapy to the children of the school. With this increase in demand, space became an ever more critical issue resulting in the eventual development of Kay Gabriel in 2013. This facility now forms the therapy wing of our program treating children from the school, children’s outpatients and adult patients with neurological conditions, most notably stroke. In Kay Gabriel we now have 7 local therapists and 2 local speech therapists who provide treatment to over 500 outpatients and 72 Kay Germaine students (Currently 92 children attend the school).
Kay Eliane is our smallest facility. Here in Petionville we provide early intervention therapy to children with special needs (i.e. Physiotherapy and Sensory Stimulation). Once these children are then old enough many will go on to attend Kay Germaine where they will continue to benefit from the valuable service we provide.
Over the last year we have partnered with Aksyon Gasmy and begun to train their community agents in the north of the country to provide therapeutic health care and education for children with special needs. Through these efforts five rehabilitation staff and two education staff now provide services at small clinics throughout the diocese of Port de Paix. Here they also provide training to 24 volunteers that work with geographically isolated families to provide a basic range of rehabilitative and educational services. This initiative now serves an estimated 700 children with disabilities. Going forward we plan to both continue and expand the training, impacting an even greater number of people.
Right now we are the leading organisation in Haiti in the provision of special education and rehabilitation to children with special needs. Our goal is to continue to provide this much needed service and expand our outreach training programme with the aim of making Haiti more self reliant in the provision of therapeutic health care to its citizens with special needs. We need to raise another $400,000 to make this a possibility. Would you be willing to contribute either a monthly or once off payment to help us reach this goal?
97 Children receiving special education
72 Children receiving therapy one to two times a week
554 Outpatients treated annually
250 sessions of therapy every week
64 outpatients treated 2 times a week
35 children and adults receive 24 hour home care in Kay Christine
Through the NPH Professional Training Program an estimated 700 children in Port de Paix currently receive treatment and/or education from NPH trained therapists and teachers
With a country wide unemployment rate of between 70-80 per cent, our program employs 124 people in the Port-au-Prince region
Thousands of children with Special Needs are abandoned every year in Haiti. By advocating and providing support for children with special needs we have reduced the likelihood of abandonment by parents