Children's Respite Home & Outreach Project, Haiti

by Hope Health Action
Vetted
Nicholas sitting on a trike
Nicholas sitting on a trike

Nicolas is an intelligent eight year old boy who has been coming to the Maison for several years. He is one of the higher functioning children of those that regularly attend the Maison, with mobility, good comprehension and limited but constantly improving speech. He loves participating in story time, singing and making crafts as well as helping out the caregivers when it comes to tidying up.

Seeing his potential, the Maison director suggested to his parents that they should enrol him in a school as he could flourish in an educational environment. At the beginning of the January term, Nicolas went with his mother to a local primary school where they met with the headteacher. Upon hearing Nicolas’ speech impediment, he was immediately denied entry to school, stating that he wasn’t capable of attending. Undeterred, Nicolas and his mother visited a second school where he actually spent the day in a class, however when his mum came to pick him up, she was told that they would be unable to accept him as a pupil after all because he was too distracting for the other children. They tried a couple of other schools but were turned away each time.

Sadly, this is a reality for many children with disabilities in Haiti, with people unable to see past their disability to their capabilities. Fortunately for Nicolas, even though he cannot go to school, he can still attend the Maison de Benediction three days a week where the motto is “disability not inability” and he is valued as an individual. Staff there recognise and celebrate his strengths and make an effort to engage him in stimulating activities so that he is able to grow in his abilities in the hope that one day, others too will see just how capable he is.

Thank you so much for supporting this amazing work. There's so much more that we can do to help children and families with disabilities, and challenge the stigma associated with disability in Haiti. Your continued support will help us grow this service and offer it to so many more families in desperate need of help. 

With much love and thanks,

All the HHA team

Nicholas colouring
Nicholas colouring

Links:

Samuel, a survivor working with us to bring hope
Samuel, a survivor working with us to bring hope

Today marks the 5th Anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12th January 2010.  With around 3,500,000 people affected, an estimated 220,000 lives lost, and over 300,000 injured, many questioned Haiti's future.

Thanks to your support, our response has left a legacy that continues to save thousands of lives every year.  Aside from supporting children with disabilities, we also help support one of the leading Maternity and Paediatric Units in North Haiti.

Thanks to the incredible support of Konbit Sante (one of our partners in Haiti) we have a unique opportunity to match fund every donation people make towards our Maternity and Paediatric work, pound for pound.  That means if you donate £10, we can instantly double it to £20.

Please join with us and make a special donation to this critical work today, in memory of January 12th 2010.  Your support can help keep a leading Maternity and Paediatric Unit in North Haiti open through out 2015.  If you have time, please also take a moment to share our Global Giving Match Fund page with your friends and family.  For many, this may be the perfect way to remember Haiti 5 years on.  Please visit our page today:

http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/run-a-pediatric-and-maternity-unit-in-haiti/

Thanks again for your continued kind support.

Links:

Freddie, looking much happier after treatment
Freddie, looking much happier after treatment

Simon arrived at the Maison de Benediction (our children’s respite home) in March of this year. He had been referred to us by friends of the hospital, Second Mile, an organisation which provides education and care for malnourished children and their mothers. Simon’s mum has learning difficulties and despite going through the programme at Second Mile three times, Simon was not putting on weight when he was at home and it became obvious that his mother was unable to care for him.

Simon also has minor learning difficulties and Nancie, the head of the Maison de Benediction was contacted to find a foster mother for him, as his mother agreed that she should give him up. Simon was registered in the foster care system, and Jennie, a warm mother of two offered to foster Simon. When he first came to the Maison at 13 months, he was severely underweight and was unable to support himself. Under the diligent care of the Maison carers, weekly assessments from the chief medical director at the hospital and loving home with Jennie, Simon has been able to thrive. Now as he approaches his second birthday he is a happy, healthy boy, sitting by himself who loves playing with the other children at the Maison.

The hospital also had its first surgical team come to perform minor surgeries last month, and one of the beneficiaries was Freddie, an eight year-old from the Maison. He had had a painful abscess on his neck for a week, however the surgical team were able to drain it and within the space of an afternoon, Freddie was feeling a lot better. This is why we are hugely grateful to all our supporters, especially those that come and share their medical expertise with our Haitian staff and serve our patients.

On behave of all of our team, and the patients we are privileged to serve, thank you for making 2014 a wonderful year.  We hope you will feel encouraged by the difference you have made.  May we close by wishing you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

With much love and thanks

All the HHA team

Simon has thrived at the Maison since his arrival.
Simon has thrived at the Maison since his arrival.

Links:

Some of the children who gave Mdm Woo Woo such joy
Some of the children who gave Mdm Woo Woo such joy

In the last month, one of our long term staff called Mdm Woo Woo retired from the respite centre, after serving this project for 5 years.  Mdm Woo Woo's story has been inspirational, and we wanted to share a little bit about this incredible lady!

Firstly, at her leaving party she powerfully shared how this respite centre had brought joy back into her life.  We often reflect on the impact this project has on the children we care for, but often don't reflect on the same impact it has on the staff.  A week after the devastating earthquake in 2010, we traveled to Port au Prince and picked up Mdm Woo Woo and her family from a community left in rubble.  The terrifying and tragic ordeal had understandably left them traumatised.  This ordeal was made even more tragic a few weeks later, when Mdm Woo Woo's grandchild died in a mud slide in the city where we work, due to torrential rain.

Such a tragic season understanably left her feeling like she'd lost joy in life, perhaps forever.  However, upon arriving at the respite centre, she found life again.  Whilst serving and offering her life to these precious children, it was their joy, love and friendship that restored and changed her life.

Another reason her story is so inspirational, is the sacrificial way in which she worked, which was driven by love, and not money.  She would almost always be found hours after her shift had officially finished, still playing with the children, dancing and singing.  She exclaimed at her leaving party that caring for these children had been a great privilege.  That previliege is something we can all share in!  Mdm Woo Woo's life is just one of many, which has been transformed thanks to your support.

If we could all support this work with the same humility, sacrifice and joy as Mdm Woo Woo, think how many lives we could change together!  Could you share this project with your friends and family, so we can bring more joy to Haiti?  Thanks for your continued love and support, and stay encouraged by the lives being changed.

Mdm Woo Woo and the staff during her leaving party
Mdm Woo Woo and the staff during her leaving party
Devastation from the city where Mdm Woo Woo lived
Devastation from the city where Mdm Woo Woo lived

Links:

Baby Judeline as she battled on...
Baby Judeline as she battled on...

In the last 8 months or so, many of our supporters have been touched by the story of a special little girl called Judeline, who was featured in our last resport.  It was with great sadness that Judeline sadly passed away a few months ago.  Despite showing such incredible courage, and some signs of improvement thanks to the care of our medical team, the disability she faced was too severe to overcome in Haiti.

Most reports we seek to send out, are generally full of the more positive aspects of our work.  Areas of our work which excite people by the progress, and there is of course lots to be excited about!  However, at the same time, we believe it's also important to reflect on some of the tragic and stark realities of Haiti, which remind us of why we're doing this work, and why your support is so critical.

Despite making such significant progress in supporting children with disabilities in Haiti, many children like Judeline still die everyday.  The majority of these deaths could be avoided, if only improved health care was provided.  Within the context of Haiti, Judeline was given the best chance she could have had.  However, the care she really needed is still absent in this country.  With the right support, critically needed new health developments can be implemented in Haiti and through our work.  That's why we would urge you to continue supporting this work.  Your support has helped save so many children over the years, and together we can improve things even more, and ensure that other children like Judeline are given the fighting chance they deserve.  Thank you for your continued compassion and generosity.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Hope Health Action

Location: West Wickham, Kent - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.hopehealthaction.org
Project Leader:
Barry Mann
Volunteer
Bromley, Kent United Kingdom
$10,015 raised of $15,000 goal
 
183 donations
$4,985 to go
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