Investment in Our Teachers

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At the beginning of each month the teachers have a one day formation with the aim to increase their skills and enhance the learning experience for the children in Kay Germaine and Larche (Kenscoff).

Presenting this month’s formation was Casandra (Language & Communication Technician) and Jacinta (Special Ed. Trainer) who focused their formations on enhancing communication techniques for our students who find it difficult to communicate, and first aid and general safety in the school.

Our Beloved Olsen


With a sad and heavy heart we watched our beloved Olsen Signifils leave us yesterday at St. Damien Hospital. We had been there for 2.5 weeks and despite the best efforts of everyone, we could not keep him with us this time. So many times in the past, Olsen had cheated death, but this time God called him home. His mission was complete.

Olsen was abandoned in 2001 at St. Damien as a baby and shortly afterwards we welcomed him to Kay Christine, our home at St. Helene. As a result of meningitis, he had developed severe brain damage and hydrocephalus. I will never forget seeing him for the first time in the hospital ward – a skinny, crying, blind child with a huge head!

From the first evening in Kay Christine, it was clear to me that this boy was going to thrive with us. During the night prayer I noticed how he was listening intently, especially during the singing. And thrive he did. In September 2001, we brought him to Amarillo, Texas, where he had a shunt put in and after that Olsen enjoyed several years of good health.

Olsen was a huge presence in Kay Christine. For the last 14 months he had been amazingly well. First thing in the morning we would wake up to the sound of Olsen singing and making his happy noises. Frequently he was the last to go to sleep and he was busy laughing and singing in his bed.

He loved to be kissed and he learned to give kisses to everyone. You just had to say, “Olsen give me a kiss,” and you got it. I would write forever about this beautiful young man that enriched our lives.

We all have a time to leave this life and yesterday was to be his time. He had a bad infection in his brain and there was nothing we could do this time. He bore his suffering very bravely and it was very hard to see him suffer. In the end, God sent his angels to bring him home.

We thank God for his life and for his presence in our family. When he was a baby the doctors thought he would not live long. When he became very ill a few years ago, the doctors said there was no hope for him.

In April we celebrated his 15th birthday. He was a child of God and we know that somehwhere in the next life he is singing “e i  e i o”. Every day here he used to sing Jwayez anivese  – Happy Birthday, so I can only imagine how happy he will be singing this in heaven to all the hosts of angels – many of them our own Kay Christine kids.

Please include the eternal rest of Olsen and our NPH Haiti family in your prayers.

Gena Heraty
Special Needs Director

Fighting for Life

Mothers – loving, tired, stressed, weary, worried, desperate.
The struggles of Haiti etched eternally on their faces.
Loving eyes struggle to keep watch, watch the IV, watch the oxygen, watch the temperature.
Days and nights of watching and the eyes fight to stay open.
Loving arms balancing restless sick children.
Road weary feet swollen and hot from days in the hospital.
Days sitting on blue chairs.
Nights sitting on blue chairs.
With occasional respite found on a sheet on the hard tiles.
Tiny babies – 500 lbs, 1 kilo, less than 500 lbs.
Big kids swollen.
A boy shoved a bead up his nose.
A boy shoved a pea in his ear.
Big babies.
Small babies.
Fighting for each breath, oxygen, IV, nurses desperately trying to find tiny veins.
All veins seem to stay at home.
Valiant nurses keep trying.
Dehydrated bodies.
Busy, busy nurses.
Fighting with death daily.
Fighting for life.
And still the patients come.
From all over the country.
Looking for life.
No more room.
Make room.
How to refuse.
How to say yes.
Young mothers – kids themselves.
Young fathers – hurtled into the realities of parenthood.
Pneumonia the biggest killer of kids under 5 in Haiti.
Racing hearts, gurgling lungs.
Scared parents.
Small kid – huge tummy
Tiny premie – went to God.
Beautiful Chloe, trying to breathe.
Eyes fixed on her praying crying aunt as if to say, “why me? I am just a tiny baby. Why is so hard for me to breathe”.
Can she know she has a heart problem and she has not long left.
Her poor Mam.
Doctors trying to find space.
Meeting after meeting, trying to find ways to find money to keep this hospital open.
We can’t afford to keep it open.
We can’t afford to close it.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Life and death – always dancing together.
Dancing around the beds.
Fighting around the beds.
It should be so easy for life to win.
Suffering is there with them.
Yes indeed suffering and more suffering.
Mothers and nurses and doctors and fathers joined together, united together.
An eternal circle, comings and goings.
Different faces.
The same suffering.
The same fight for life.
Every year I get an insight into the realities of life here as Marcus* takes me inside our hospital emergency room.
St. Damien Pediatric Hospital.
The ONLY pediatric hospital in Haiti.
Don’t read this and feel sad.

Read this and help us in our fight for life.

Contributed by Gena Heraty, NPH Haiti Special Needs Director

Photo credit: Giles Ashford

*Named changed for privacy purposes. Marcus lives at the NPH Haiti home, Kay Christine. He is 15-years-old and is fighting an infection and is currently at our St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. Please keep him in your prayers.

Summer at Kay Germaine


It’s summer time here in Kay Germaine and all the children are on their holidays. However, while the school is quiet, therapy is still offered and patients continue to make the sometimes difficult journey here for treatment. By the end of the year we estimate that over 550 children and adults will come through our therapy center.

Benefits of Working Together

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Based out of Mare Rouge, Akyson Gasmy (AG) provides rehabilitation and eduction services to people with special needs in the northern diocese of Port de Paix; one of the most rural and isolated areas in Haiti. Over the last number of years, we have partnered with AG to assist in the training of their therapists and teachers through work placements in Kay Germaine, monthly training formations and outreach visits.

The pictures above are from our outreach visit last week.