On March 26th, the children at Ste. Germaine celebrated their Easter Holidays. Teachers, mothers and the children had a very nice “procession” to remember the suffering of Jesus on the way to Calvary. Following the procession, they watched a movie on the Passion of Jesus. While I was watching the procession and looking at the mothers and children, I was thinking (once again!!), that for so many of these mothers, they live their own Passion every day here in Haiti. No their kids are not crucified, but they are denied of so many basic rights and this denial often does indeed lead to their deaths. Poverty kills. Poverty crucifies–bodies and spirits. How must they feel, these mothers and fathers, when they cannot feed their kids, when they watch the little bodies rack with seizures, and they know that with medicine there would be no seizures? As Mary had to suffer while she watched them beat and crucify her innocent son, so too do these parents suffer as they watch poverty beat, humiliate and often, kill their children. The Easter story is not to be considered as an old story from years ago. Every day innocent people live out their own crucifixions. God raised Jesus from the dead. We try very hard to rise beyond the limits facing us and to bring life and education to those we serve. While we struggle with all we cannot do, we rejoice in all that we have been able to achieve thanks to the help of so many people. Our smiling children show us we are on the right path doing the right thing. Our smiling children give us a glimpse of the hope of the Easter Sunday Resurrection.
With great sadness we learned today that beautiful Ednude Virgile died yesterday after nine days in hospital. On March 14th she started having very bad seizures (sadly the mother had ran out of medicine and not had a chance to buy them). As it was night time, she could not go to the hospital with Ednude and so she continued to have bad seizures throughout the night. The next morning her mother took her to the hospital where she stayed until she died yesterday afternoon.
Ednude was born on April 20, 2006. She was the only child of her loving mother and we first met them in February of 2009. Ednude”s mom adored her and took such good care of her. Ednude was her pride and joy and she rarely missed a day in school. Due to her severe condition, it as very difficult for her other to carry her and to bring her to our centre/school, but she made the supreme effort and Ednude loved school. She was very intelligent and loved to learn. Her beautiful smile and bright eyes communicated very clearly how she felt and she was always quick to respond.
Her mother is devastated–the father was no longer with them.You know death is very much a part of our lives here BUT so many times we feel so so frustrated because so many of these children in our program do not receive medicine as they should. Not because the parents don’t know how, but because they can’t afford them. It costs about 14 Euro for 30 tablets of Rivotril and about 22 Euro for a bottle of Depakene. If you are lucky enough to be working in Haiti, you will be lucky to be earning 5 Euros a day. Ednude’s mom is not one of the lucky ones! Can you see why buying medicines is so difficult?
So time and time again we say goodbye to beautiful children and time and time again we struggle to accept this reality.
We take comfort from the fact that in her short life Ednude was surrounded by people that loved her. She had a chance to come to school and share her beautiful personality with so many. We take comfort from the fact that (unlike so many others), she knew she was important to so many. She knew her Mom adored her. She knew we all loved her. It’s not enough is it? But it’s all we have. Please pray for her Mom. She was and is, a true witness of what it means to love because we know all too well just how hard it was for her. She never got discouraged. She put her daughter first and she did all she could.
A few lines from Gibran are apt now…“your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. And though they are with you, they do not belong to you. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…”
In Haiti there is an almost complete absence of specialised training for teachers in relation to special education. In Kay Germaine, we have trained the teachers on site and provide regular upskilling at monthly formations. The teachers and assistants at our Special Needs Program are all both extremely talented and motivated, ensuring that we continue to provide the highest possible standard of education and care for the children.
Without your continued support this would not all be possible. Thank you to everyone and please continue to like and share our posts!
Equine Therapy is a very important part of our Special Needs Program. Three times a week a bus full of children travels 2km through Tabarre to Chateau Blond for the therapy. Equine therapy has been shown to promote physical and emotional growth, while it also improves balance and strength. It is also clear that the children really enjoy the experience….the smiles are a dead give away!
All children who are part of our program and require it, receive rehabilitation therapy from our local therapists. These therapists are expertly trained by volunteer physiotherapists who continue to ensure that our Special Needs Program provides the best possible service to the children.
With your help we have been able to maintain and expand this training program which now also helps train Haitian Therapists in other areas of Haiti. Through these efforts we are making our program more self-sustainable and increasing Haiti’s capacity to become more self-reliant in the provision of therapeutic health care to its citizens with special needs.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the nation of Haiti. We are deeply grateful to everyone who supported our work in Haiti by sponsoring children, making donations, attending and sponsoring events, visiting our home, volunteering, and giving products and services. With your help, we were able to launch or expand many services after the earthquake.
Please join us in prayer today for our NPH Haiti family, for those that have lost family members, and for the country.
“This is the meaning of the day, solidarity among people of good will worldwide…and determination by the human race to keep going today –embodied by the Haitian people,” Fr. Rick Frechette.
Below is a video highlighting what NPH Haiti has accomplished during the past 5 years. It’s 3 minutes that you surely can’t miss.