If the invisible red thread that connects The Red Thread Promise with our supporters, partners and the children we support were visible, the globe might start to look like a ball of red yarn.
Team Canada Healing Hands, a valued partner with us at St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, spent the last two weeks of October, 2012 fitting 70 children with new digital hearing aids, performing healing evaluations, training audiometry technicians to test patients’ hearing.
These digital hearing aids are so technologically superior to older analog hearing aids that manufacturers have almost completely discarded the old technology, and with good reason: digital hearing devices can detect the unique sound pattern of speech and amplify it while reducing the volume of other types of non-speech sounds, there is no feedback, and they are far more comfortable.
You, our supporters, donated the funds to purchase the hearing aids, and Team Canada Healing Hands provided the highly-skilled team of speech pathologists, audiologists, and other specialists required to fit the digital devices for each patient and perform testing on new patients.
Because the hearing aids require proper care and maintenance to ensure their long life, especially in the high humidity of Haiti, Team Canada donated five Dry & Store Global II boxes. These boxes hold several hearing aids at one time, and in approximately one hour each week removes damaging moisture accumulation, dries earwax, and sanitizes surfaces exposed to its germicidal lamp.
Team Canada also provided training and information to the teachers and staff at St. Vincent’s. In a country like Haiti, so ravaged by poverty and repeated natural disasters, there is no place that can provide the appropriate maintenance and care needed for digital hearing aids. So, along with alleviating the isolating deafness these children experience, The Red Thread Promise and Team Canada Healing Hands need to provide adequate technology training, just as we provide valued professional training to the student technicians in Haiti.
Your donations have made it possible to help “teach a person to fish” and create a sustainable and positive future for those we’re helping.
We continue our mission at St. Vincent’s with your help, as we return to Haiti to evaluate and fit more children with hearing aids, opening a whole new world of sound to these kids whose great affection and beautiful smiles continue to touch our hearts.
Since our last report, we have begun receiving requests from other NGOs and businesses in Haiti for our ATW wheelchairs. Word is spreading about these rugged chairs and how they are changing lives by giving people mobility in normally inaccessible areas.
During our last trip in July, our team was hosting a camp for disabled Haitians at a hotel at Kaliko Beach, about two hours outside Port-au-Prince. Several of our campers rolled around the hotel property for the week in our ATWs, not only navigating the patchy uneven concrete areas, but the sandy beach as well. At the end of our trip, hotel management asked us how they could get some of our wheelchairs for their handicapped guests. Since our team has yet to see a hotel or any other business offer accessibility in Haiti, we were thrilled to see a Haitian company taking an interest in implementing this in their facility.
Of course, we are excited for these opportunities and see this as an extension of our outreach to people with handicaps. It is our hope that, as we continue to distribute these chairs in Haiti, the local community will eventually turn their back on the stigma that currently surrounds disabled people in their country. Giving handicapped people mobility allows them to become more productive members of society, less of a burden on their families and gives the opportunity to develop much needed self-esteem.
You can be a part of this transformation, one wheelchair at a time.
We can't call these little ones babies anymore! They are growing into beautiful healthy toddlers thanks to your generous donations and continued support.
Together we've been providing post-surgical care for little JH following successful surgery for Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome. In our last report he finally made it to the CCAI website for adoption. He continues to thrive at Swallows Nest and ...(drum roll please)... JH has been matched with a family! He will join several other siblings with his forever family in the near future. In the meantime, he gets plenty of practice getting along with the other children in the foster home and loves to play on the balcony in the sunshine.
Little XX is also getting bigger every day. Born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, she received successful surgery thanks to your generosity. After our last report in August, she was hospitalized with an infection and fever. Thankfully, she has recovered fully and is getting along well with the other toddlers in the home, especially all the little boys. She is going to be a heartbreaker! The most recent photos we have of her is from May 2012. What a beautiful smile.
Only a few days ago, Swallows Nest introduced us to 4 new little faces. We hope to introduce you to one or all of them in our next report. Thank you for your continued support of these little ones.