Providing life-transforming care for children with disabilities and their families
Children with disabilities in Haiti face severe discrimination, making them some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in Haiti. They have minimal access to medical care, schooling and other basic human rights. Very often their parents are among the poorest in society, which may lead them to abandon them at orphanages, hospitals or even trash dumps in desperation.
The Maison de Benediction was created in 2009 and provides life-transforming care for children with disabilities and their families. It is a leading disability centre, in northern Haiti, offering day and overnight residential respite care for children whose parents find it hard to provide the full-time specialist care their children need. Our respite centre provides unique care for children who would otherwise be permanently left at home, or worse, be abandoned into orphanages.
Currently, 25 children attend and receive life-transforming physical therapy, one-to-one educational support, play & music therapy and nutritional and medical support, including wheelchairs for those who need one.
Thanks to the Maison’s efforts within the wider community, we’ve seen stigma against children with disabilities decrease, schools enrolling children with disabilities for the first time and children receiving life-transforming mobility aids like wheelchairs and much more. Together, we’re showing that disability is not inability!
‘Seeing the hospital employ people with disabilities has challenged the population’s perceptions on what they are able to do. People can see that children with disabilities can have a positive future.’
Dr Paul Toussaint, Medical Director of HCBH
Project Start Date: 2009
Lives impacted: 40+ children and their families
Maison de Benediction Case Study
Lourdjina is now 14 and has been coming to the Maison ever since her mother died 8 years ago. When she first arrived, she could not talk or walk, moving only by shuffling across the floor. She lives with her Grandmother, who now cares for her large family by herself. The support the Maison provides is invaluable to Lourdjina’s Grandmother and allows to her to continue working for the good of the whole family. Through the education and therapy she has received at the Maison over the years, Lourdjina has developed incredibly well and is now able to walk and eat independently. She can communicate with words and is even starting to write and count well. She has a bright future ahead.