Haiti Hospital Appeal

Helping to run one of the leading hospitals in North Haiti, we specialise in community health care, maternity, paediatric, and neo-natal care, and rehabilitation services for adults and children. Since 2006, we've been providing quality health care that is not restricted to the few, but is available to everyone. Working alongside the Haitian Government and grass root partners, we seek to empower a sustainable, inclusive and accessible health care service, driven by Haitian vision and staff. We are a Christian charity with a heart of compassion and a desire for justice. We choose to stand in the gap for the innocent and vulnerable as Jesus did, offering health care to all without any form of...
Jul 2, 2015

Being a Good Sport

Fritzner and Senatus in Switzerland
Fritzner and Senatus in Switzerland

It has been an eventful couple of months in the rehab centre. Firstly, a volunteer from the International Tennis Federation came to work with a couple of the rehab patients and as part of her visit they were able to participate playing wheelchair tennis in a local tennis festival in town. Herod was the champion, narrowly beating Fritzner to the trophy.

However, Fritzner can be forgiven for maybe not giving his all for the tennis cause as he has been training for the world championships in hand-cycling. Along with his trusty trainer, Senatus, he has been steadily training for the past six months on the roads surrounding the hospital to get in shape for the race. The world championships this year are taking place in Switzerland, and the duo had visas approved just in time to fly out mid-June so that they could acclimatise and continue their intense training schedule in Europe for six weeks before the big race at the end of July.

Our goal has never been to send all rehab patiants to compete in world competitions but through Fritzner's success many other disabled Haitians will be inspired to rebuild their lives and gain confidence from knowing their disability does not need to hold them back. Rehabilitation of the mind is sometimes harder than the body but just as Fritzner was inspired by the words of a disabled sports star who visited the hospital several years ago, many others will be inspired by him. 

There were also tears at the rehab centre as the team said goodbye to Dr Moise, who has been part of the rehab centre since the very beginning. He has dedicated five years to HCBH, using his expertise to help establish the rehab service, and helping to make it the leading rehabilitation centre for spinal cord injuries that it is today. Staff said goodbye in a touching service where various members of staff paid homage to his dedication and contribution to the rehab centre. He will be missed but leaves behind a highly trained and competent team to carry on his great work!

Wheelchair tennis tournament
Wheelchair tennis tournament

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Jul 2, 2015

Ain't No Party Like a 'Maison' Party...

Maison party
Maison party

The Maison de Benediction celebrated its sixth anniversary this year. Since its opening in 2009, dozens of children with disabilities and their families have been able to benefit from the support and care services offered and the Maison director, Nancie, rightly decided that was cause for a party! The date chosen conveniently coincided with National Children’s Day, so it was a double celebration that the children and their families were invited to celebrate together with Maison staff one Thursday in June.

There were the usual festivities, with some hymns, speeches, songs and dances performed by some of the children and a couple of sketches performed by the Maison staff. It was, in many ways, a fairly typical Haitian celebration and a good time was had by all. However, there were some touching moments among the usual speeches and sketches that gave insight into why the Maison is unusual and why it is truly worth celebrating.

One of the sketches portrayed a family with a disabled child and some of the trials they face trying to raise their child with no outside support in an often hostile environment. The parents in the audience watched this, murmuring to each other in agreement that this was an accurate representation of the daily difficulties they face. Because the Maison does more than provide a respite service to parents; it’s evidence of the fact that there are people that care about them, that understand their struggles and acknowledge their strength and love for their children.  The sketch ended with the child registering for the Maison, and there was a poignant air to the applause that followed, as the parents understood the message from the staff who had been acting - the unspoken “we are partners in this. We know it’s hard and we support and encourage you”.

This was followed by a speech from the head administrator of the hospital, who originally worked as the administrator for the Maison. She spoke about how her time at the Maison was special beyond compare, and she named three children who had particularly left a lasting impression on her. She mentioned the joy she experienced from spending time with them, but also from watching them interact with their own parents who demonstrate true selflessness and love on a daily basis.

While the day was officially a celebration of children, at the party it was more a celebration of families. This was fitting as it is what the Maison has always been – a way to keep families together. 

Through your support, we are on the verge of being able to extend the opening hours on the respite home which will be a huge step forward in helping deliver a holistic programme of support. But with only a little extra still we could commit to open the home full time. Thank you for everything you have done so far. 

Esther in her party frock
Esther in her party frock
Caleb and his Mum
Caleb and his Mum

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Apr 8, 2015

Disability not inability

Race up the Citadelle
Race up the Citadelle

Everyone is given challenges to overcome in life. We happen to work with patients who are in rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury. People who are viewed as lesser or incapable. But if you can spend just a few hours in the rehab building, you encounter people who are unwilling to let their physical challenges define them. Sibille, a physical therapist who has chosen to devote so much of her life to our rehab facility, had been toying with the idea of taking some of our wheelchair-bound patients up to the Citadelle. The Citadelle Laferrière represents all that Haiti has overcome and fought for. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and was built by Henri Christophe, a key figure during the slave revolt that eventually led to Haiti’s independence.

So when Sibille heard that there would be race to the top on Saturday, she took it as an opportunity to take 4 wheelchair-bound guys on an adventure. We had the privilege of partnering with Streethearts, a nonprofit that provides a safe haven for hundreds of street children in Cap-Haitien. They brought 15 teenagers to make the trek with us. Very rarely do things in this country go as planned, but one thing we couldn’t plan for were these former street kids embracing our wheelchair-bound guys. There is camaraderie in challenges- whether your challenge is getting off the street or learning to overcome your physical disability. The Streethearts kids listened intently as Sibille gave strict instructions about the protocol of pushing, dos and don’ts, and then released the teams of kids to climb the Citadelle.

Laughing, running (more like sprinting!), sweating, guzzling water, breaks in the shade, and then, finally, the top! Grins appeared on faces that we have rarely seen crack a smile. It was incredible to introduce these young men to such a significant piece of their country’s history. But it was also amazing to talk to people we passed about the abilities these four men have. Seeing people on two legs struggle up that mountain look with awe as they are overtaken by a man in a wheelchair did more for disability awareness than any signs or literature. Sometimes the best teaching is done by showing. We are so proud of these young men's accomplishment. Again, disability not inability.

Getting their briefing
Getting their briefing
Reaching the top - amazing achievement!
Reaching the top - amazing achievement!
A team effort
A team effort

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