December 3rd is International Day of Disabled Persons and to celebrate Kay Germaine hosted its annual party with its highest attendance yet! Children, staff, volunteers, parents and friends were present from all of our special needs programs, including Kay Germaine, Kay Gabriel, Kay Eliane and Kay Christine, for a special mass and exciting program.
After rehearsals and much preparation, Kay Germaine, which was beautifully and colorfully decorated, filled up quickly the morning of the celebration. The lively full house included majority of our 110 students of Kay Germaine School and their parents, as well as children and adult therapy patients from Kay Gabriel and Kay Eliane. To make the day more special, everyone who lives in Kay Christine, the special needs house at St. Helene in Kenscoff, traveled down the mountain to be a part of the festivities. Everyone was dressed in their best and happy to be surrounded by friends and family.
The morning began with a lovely mass that not only honored the children and adults who are a part of the NPFS special needs programs but all disabled people in Haiti. Shortly after the mass the program began and the master of ceremonies engaged the crowd and graciously introduced each act with much excitement!
The children amazed the crowd with dancing and signing of all sorts. Several of the teachers prepared and even performed the acts with their students. In a few dances, teachers led several of the students who are in wheelchairs in a traditional Haitian dance with typical and vibrant costumes. The crowd was moved with each dance, each song and each showcase of the children’s talent.
The celebration moved along with a mid-day feast and much to the children’s surprise, the staff distributed presents to all of the students. And before everyone left to return to his or her homes, the DJ blasted the music once more and everyone participated in a dance party. It was a very fun morning in which all whom attended enjoyed.
In Haiti, many children who are disabled or handicapped are not properly cared for due to the lack of services available countrywide. Gena Heraty, NPFS Director of Special Needs Programs, has made it her mission to care for those with disabilities in Haiti and she, along with her incredible staff, have done an amazing job at working towards that mission. NPFS currently has programs in three locations in Haiti for children with special needs. Services include a home and external program for children with physical and/or mental disabilities in Kenscoff, and two rehabilitation centers where mothers bring their children for physical therapy, schooling and care and now a center for adults to receive therapies in Tabbare and Petionville. We are proud of what we have accomplished and hopeful of continuing and even expand our work in the future.
Contributed by Avriel Burlot and Denso Gay
Photos by Liz Lawne and Avriel Burlot