On January 30th, CWS Haitian partner Service Chretien d´Haiti hosted an event to celebrate the closure of the third phase of the People with Disabilities Program.
The event served to acknowledge and honor all those who have supported the program over the years, but it was also a celebration of life. As Ernst Abraham, Service Chretien d´Haiti’s Executive Director, said: “The idea is to show through events like these the skills and capacities that people with disabilities have. We aim to change the general thinking that people with disabilities cannot offer anything to society”.
As the highlight of the event, the finals of a singing, dancing and music contest took place. The 9 finalists that performed earned their “ticket to the final” by winning the previous phases of the contest that were hosted in 3 local communities of Port-au-Prince.
They all performed as professionals, and the crowd enjoyed their performances. The passion, skill and happiness with which they performed made everyone attending the event realize that a disability is not always a limitation.
One of the participants in the dancing context was Anne Suze Dénestant, a survivor from the 2010 earthquake who commented, “After the earthquake I spent two days under the rubble until someone from the neighborhood got me out. I suffered a lot, but I did not get discouraged. I feel proud about that”.
Anne Suze had her left arm amputated, but when she dances she forgets about that, as does anyone that sees her. “I danced before January 12th , and I have always continued doing so. Life is not finished”.
This is only one of many histories of program beneficiaries that, despite difficulties, have found the strength and joy to continue with their lives.
Mr. Abraham added at the end of the event “This program has given us the chance to be really close to our beneficiaries and because of this we were able to see the world and the universe differently”.
Overall, thanks to the program:
• Over 6,500 people with disabilities participated in program events
• 1,200 people with disabilities received $75/month for six months ($540,000 total)
• Over 1,000 people received counseling and psychological support
• 573 people with disabilities received grants to re-start a small business ($200,000 total)
• 150 people with disabilities received prosthetic limbs
CWS is proud to be one of the few organizations that have focused on supporting programs for people with disabilities in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
Photos : Service Chrétien d'Haití