2010 was without doubt the hardest year Haiti Hospital Appeal has ever faced. The tragic events of the earthquake in the first weeks of last year shook the world, and for a few short months Haiti rested upon the hearts of many nations. Yet for HHA, we have been blessed with a support network of people who have remained broken for this nation beyond the initial trauma, and helped achieve some incredible things. For this commitment and support we are deeply grateful, and can’t possibly thank you enough for your love throughout the last 12 months, or put into words the difference you’ve made.
Thank you for your continued support on our Children's Home and Outreach Project in North Haiti. This project has enabled us to establish and develop two children's homes that provide vital support to children with physical and mental special needs. We provide a real family atmosphere where children are growing day by day. We are amazed at how much progress the children have made.
Many of you will remember the story of our finding her abandoned, severely malnourished and suffering from hydrocephalus at the end of 2009, which was mentioned in the previous project report. Supported through HHA and Cure International, Grace was provided with an urgent and lifesaving operation that has given her a new lease of life. Because of the impact of such dedicated and compassionate staff at Maison de Benediction, she is now unrecognisable from when she was first found. She is a regular attendee of Maison de Benediction, adopted within a wonderful foster family. Grace is just one example of the difference you have made in 2010. Despite many feeling that we would only be able to offer palliative care to this desperate girl, one year on she has been completely transformed thanks to your support.
In September 2010 we opened our first satellite centre, with 2 childcare staff and 1 cook, to bring day-care, support, education and information to a small rural community called La Victiore. It was chosen as it’s a community with a high number of disabled children, but no support or help for them. The centre has enabled us to support children who live too far away to come to our central Maison de Benediction. We have trained and mobilised church leaders and members to open a community outreach day project for disabled children.
So far the project has been really welcomed by the people and the assistance it provides is already making a big difference.
The majority of these children have spent their whole lives at home due to their lack of mobility. However with education and support, families are benefiting greatly from the project. The children play and learn basic skills, while the parents get an opportunity to cook, work and have a rest. Each child is provided with meals and some basic physiotherapy.
This photo is Elisha from La Victoire. She cannot sit so has spent her whole life lying on a bed. Her family loves her very much but had never had training or support on how to look after their daughter so her muscles have seized up and she cannot move, but now we are providing support for them now at the Petit Maison de Benediction.
We are really happy by the welcome the project has received from the local community, and finding more and more families coming forward to receive support and care. We heard the moving stories of families who explained how the opening of our new centre had unleashed new life for their families. This photo is Elisha from La Victoire, for instance, she cannot sit so has spent her whole life lying on a bed. Her family loves her very much but had never had training or support on how to look after their daughter so her muscles have seized up and she cannot move, but now we are providing support for them now at the Petit Maison de Benediction. Disabled children for the first time offered care outside of the house, and families given the respite a few days a week to grow. Hearing the stories for the first time was moving, challenging, but also deeply encouraging. This centre only costs about $5,000 US to run per year, yet the affect it’s having upon the whole community is priceless. Our hope is that in the coming years many more of these little centres will spring up.
Thanks again for your contributions you have helped changed the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Haiti.
Carwyn Hill and The Haiti Hospital Appeal Team
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