The Phone Call that Made My Day
–This post was written by Sibille Buhlmann, who is living in Haiti and working with the rehab staff at HCBH–
My patience gets tested so often here in Haiti. You never know how long it will take to get something done and, even then, if it will really work out. As you may have seen on some of our different facebook pages, we have been trying to launch a new housing project together with our newly founded Swiss charity, HaitiRehab Schweiz.
We financially help former rehabilitation patients to get back into “normal” everyday life. This means that we help them look for a place to live, how to make it wheelchair accessible and we pay for their first years rent. We look for a business for them and give them some start-up money. They then have to learn to save up some of their money for the following years rent and how to make a living off of their own business.
The first three people we have sent “home” were the guys living in our transition home outside of the hospitals volunteer village. I see them regularly when they still come to the hospital to get their dressings changed or when they come for a visit. One of them, Dieudonno, I hadn’t seen for a while and was a little worried. I tried to call him and couldn’t get a hold of him. That’s when i started questioning if everything we did was right, or if we had forgotten some major points in our project.
But he did call me back! I was excited to hear him! He told me he was sorry I couldn’t get in touch with him, he had been so busy. Ok, I thought, that’s good news! Well, it turns out he had been working really hard in his solar panel cooperation with his friends. He had sold 3 large panels, made 100$ profit from them and with that money, opened his first ever bank account, and ordered new material for production! He was so excited to tell me all this and I was obviously beyond excited to hear it all!
Dieudonno has been with us at the rehab for almost 5 years now, he has never had any family with him and we never really knew where he would end up. Seeing him in his own house now, living completely independent as a paraplegic in a country that does not make it easy for anyone with a disability, working in his own business and actually managing it with a profit, made my heart jump with joy!
Situations like this show me that it is worth having the patience Haiti demands. And this one little phone call definitely made my day! Disability is not inability!