Our NPFS Special Needs Program began with the development of Kay Christine in 1993. The program was originally established to provide 24 residential care to abandoned children with Special Needs.
The program now has four main projects in the Port-au-Prince region, Kay Christine in Kenscoff (Residential Care and Rehabilitation Centre), Kay Eliane in Petionville (Rehabilitation Centre) and Kay Germaine and Kay Gabrielle in Tabarre (School and Rehabilitation Centre).
Since its inception our programme has evolved from solely providing a home to these abandoned children to tackling some of the issues head on. This focus is now captured within our five pillars, 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.
People with disabilities in Haiti
It is the unfortunate reality that in Haiti individuals with disabilities are marginalized and even shunned. Lack of education perpetuates the idea that disability is the result of supernatural punitive action as opposed to a medical condition. This belief, rooted in ignorance, exacerbates the marginalization of individuals with disabilities and their families. Parents of children with disabilities are encouraged to abandon their children. Many parents also must abandon their child with a disability due to poverty and their inability to care for their child while at the same time finding work to sustain the other members of their family.
The focus of our work is to prevent abandonment and ensure that the child stays where he/she belongs; with their family. We do this by building services that are otherwise absent in Haiti and creating structures around the family that will allow them to care for their child.
Education is a fundamental right for every child and children with special needs require specialised and tailored teaching techniques. Our program educates 92 children in Kay Germaine and 14 children in Kay Christine.
When required, children in Kay Christine and Kay Germaine receive rehabilitative therapy from our local therapists. Children also receive outpatient rehabilitative care in both Kay Gabriel and Kay Eliane (early intervention therapy). After the Earthquake our rehabilitation service was expanded to cater for adults impacted by quake. In the years since we have moved to predominantly treating adult patients with neurological impairments; most notably stroke.
One part of our strategy is implemented through social workers and researchers who visit the parents and families of abandoned children to provide support and investigate the reasons behind abandonment. Through these efforts we are better able to understand this social phenomenon and tackle it at its source in the home. We also give regular training on different aspects of care for children with special needs.
In Kay Christine we provide 24 hour residential care to children and adults with special needs who have been abandoned by their parents. Here they receive, medical care, education and rehabilitative therapy.
Our teacher and therapist training program is unique in Haiti. The teachers and therapists on our program are trained and upskilled through regular monthly formations and on the job skill sharing. All training is conducted by experts who host these regular formations and work side by side with our staff.