Thursday, March 29, 2012

Meeting Haiti's Disabled Children, Part 1

Two days ago I joined the Quiqueya 10th grade for a service day at Village Espoir. There are dozens of kids there, including 25 who are severely disabled. It was an eye-opening day, and one of the most special experiences I've ever had with my students.
Gabby, Melinda, and V help to feed the kids breakfast
A little attention and love went a long way
The disabled children at Village Espoir ("espoir" means hope) were not able to speak, walk, or control their bodies for the most part. One teenage girl had Down Syndrome.

Can you imagine being one of Haiti's poorest people, trying to care for a child with those needs?

This is a good orphanage, as orphanages go. But there are 25 disabled kids and maybe six or so house moms. They have very fancy wheelchairs; the kids with motor skills are given motorized ones. But their diapers are changed just twice a day. They are fed three meals a day, but some are bone-skinny because they are extremely challenging to feed, and nobody has the time to coax tiny nibbles of rice into mouths with protruding tongues.

Of the nineteen sophomores in attendance, quite a few had never been to an orphanage before (after a lifetime living in Haiti!?). Hardly any had ever worked with disabled kids.
The non-disabled children checking out the "blan" (foreigners).
They started singing and dancing to Dekole, and thought it was hysterical that I could sing along.
We wheeled the kids over to the playground.
Loving the merry-go-round
Look. at. that. face.
I mean, seriously. Look at my students. I was beaming with pride.  These are fifteen-year-olds, people. I love them.

Oh God, give my students eyes to see the pain in the world, and know what they can do to make it stop.

Oh God, give these orphans a family. Every one. Please- a family to adopt them.



  1. Katie and Ben, seems there is so much going on in the world we can think, 'wow, we need to move on to new disasters'. So glad of your frequent reminders. I can only imagine what it must like to be disabled in a place like Haiti. Glad God has provided you to lift up the hands of those so in need. God's blessings on your ministry.

  2. it's been a while since a post has brought me to tears- this one did it!! big time! your cry to god at the end sent me over the edge. love you. love your heart for serving others. love seeing your students serve others. love the smiles. praying that god would change all of our hearts to see pain and that we would be obedient in serving and loving those that hurt and are in need. hugs and prayers.



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