Special Needs Program 2013 Annual Report

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Dear friends and family,

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. As I try to sum up 2013 I think it’s fair to say that there were times when my balance, when our balance, was fairly wobbled! It was a year of much sadness—two former youths that we knew and loved passed away, as did two kids from Kay Christine. Also Major Cesar, the night watchman, was brutally taken from us. When you write it down it seems so incredible that all this happened this year. Our kids and young adults in Kay Christine have seen and felt so much pain and sadness this year. All of us have been battered. It has been a tough year, no doubt about it, and I remember so clearly the weeks after Olivier died, our home was like an injured bird, frail and fragile and one wondered when we would sing and fly again.

Time passed and we welcomed two new children into our home at Kay Christine and our hearts. They came with their own fragile stories but one thing was obvious very fast – they were determined to bring smiles to our faces and they were determined to get us through our grief. They came like angels to the rescue and they wrapped up in their love. “I will turn their mourning into joy and comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13

2013 also had many other great moments and for sure the opening of Kay Gabriel was full of those moments. It was a day when we celebrated the fruits of the seeds sown after the earthquake. Kay Gabriel is a testament of how we do things, how we turn tragedy into something beautiful and life giving. All of you reading this are a part of the beauty, because together we make miracles.

On a personal level, I feel I have lived a lot this year! My bicycle has wobbled and wobbled through dark days but lucky for me my bicycle’s light is powered by each movement I make. So as I wobble forward and I can always see the way! All along the way people join with me to light up the path I am traveling on. I am never alone and I am always surrounded by love and light. This makes life so much nicer. All of us in Kay Christine, Kay Eliane and Kay Germaine thank you for all your support during this last year. We rely on this same support for the coming year. We thank God for all the blessings of 2013 and we look forward to many more miracles in 2014.

Gena Heraty
Director of Special Needs Programs

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Program Accomplishments

Kay Germaine and all of our special needs programs flourished this year in many ways. The school program at Kay Germaine received a grant that allowed six teachers to travel to the U.S., to Watson Institute, for training in special education to improve their skills in teaching our students with mental and physical disabilities. Additionally, the team is working on the development of including life skills into the curriculum. For instance, the students have been working on simple time concepts, money concepts, hygiene, as well as some household chores. We accepted 23 new students into the Kay Germaine program from a long waiting list of potential students who had been attending the program for physical therapy only. These children started the new school year 2013-2014 with us as fully enrolled students.

We celebrated the inauguration of Kay Gabriel in October. The building is an extension of the Kay Germaine School and serves the young adults who graduate from the Kay Germaine program and also provides therapy for adults with disabilities.

In our therapy programs, we hope to continue training our physical, occupational and speech therapists in current methodologies to better serve all of our adult and pediatric patients. We also want to continue with our parent/caregivers education program so parents feel more comfortable and educated in their children’s therapies. We plan on continuing to develop advocacy initiatives for individuals with disabilities in partnership with UNICEF, Handicapped International and Healing Hands for Haiti.

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