The new Inclusive Sports Centre we support opened on November 15th 2012, and is one of Haiti's first facilities dedicated to serving both those living with and without disability. Providing an inclusive and accessible facility empowers persons with disabilities, supporting their physical and emotional rehabilitation. It also challenges the misconceptions of disability within the community by overcoming negative stereotypes, and highlighting people's ability rather than their disability.
In Haiti, prejudice against people with disabilities is seen as a major obstacle for the integration into society of persons with disabilities. In a recent local survey, which has been conducted through community rehabilitation workers, among 66 families with a disabled child, living in the north of Haiti, 77.3% have faced discrimination and abuse due to their child's disability.
Sport is a fantastic tool to tackle stigma and social discrimination. Our Center is comprised of an outdoor multipurpose court, throwing field, and indoor state-of-the-art gym. It resides directly adjacent to our Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center, the only center of its kind in North Haiti. The Inclusive Sports Center provides opportunities for adults and children to participate in recreational sport for fun, as well as training for competitive athletes.
The Inclusive Sports Center has the potential to enhance the rehabilitation of our patients with disabilities, foster athleticism and good health practices in thousands of community members, and transform how the entire region views disability. In 2012, one of our coaches, Leon Gaisli, competed at the London 2012 Paralympics! We hope to continue to train outstanding athletes like Leon that inspire young athletes across the globe and combat the stigma of disability in Haiti.
The Haiti Health Trust Website