Welcome to the PAZAPA Center for Children with Disabilities, Haiti
“Tout moun se moun, tout moun pa menm."
Haitian proverb: Everyone is someone, but not everyone is the same.
Only an estimated 5% of the approximately 400,000 children living with disabilities in Haiti have access to inclusive education or specialized medical care, and the stigma surrounding disability often relegates these "invisible children" to the furthest margins. PAZAPA is dedicated to supporting the treatment, education and development of children living with disabilities in Haiti, while promoting acceptance within their communities.
"Piti piti zwazo fe niche li."
Little by little, a bird builds its nest.
The PAZAPA model is one of accompaniment, based upon the guiding principles of solidarity, mutual respect, equity and inclusion. While these core values remain constant, the model is continually adapting to the changing needs and goals of participating families, improving through reciprocal learning with others, and increasing its impact in the community through ongoing evaluation. PAZAPA means "step by step" in Haitian Kreyol, and in this way, PAZAPA has empowered over 2,000 of Haiti’s most marginalized families in the past 30 years through comprehensive programs providing specialized medical care, inclusive education, outreach, advocacy, economic opportunity, and access to the arts.
Specialized Medical Care
Clinical evaluations, surgeries, medication management and rehabilitative therapy provided to children with medically treatable disabilities such as clubfoot and epilepsy.
Specialized early intervention, preschool and primary instruction for children who would otherwise not have access to an education. Students are provided quality instruction to the national certification level while building language, social and coping skills.
Community-based workers support the social, educational, medical and economic welfare of over 100 homebound children in 5 rural villages through home visits, medical clinics, school mainstreaming, microloans, community meetings and parent groups.
Awareness events, radio broadcasts, symposia, mainstreaming assistance, community meetings and inclusive education trainings change norms and combat harmful misconceptions about disability, build community cohesion and promote equal rights.
Vocational training and scholarships to build skills and livelihoods in art, construction, cooking, law and sewing. Ti Commerce microloans for mothers to start businesses, and post-hurricane disbursements of food, crops and livestock to help families rebuild.
Training in creative vocations for Haitian teens with disabilities. Art therapy and performing arts opportunities for all the children and families served by PAZAPA.
"Sonje lapli ki leve mayi ou."
Remember the rain that made your corn grow.
Thanks to our dedicated staff, skilled volunteers, collaborative partners and generous donors, PAZAPA has made a positive impact in thousands of lives amid extraordinary hardship. Even after the 2010 earthquake, our supporters made it possible to continue providing essential services and build back better. Natural disasters, political upheavals and economic shocks have come and gone, but thanks to you, PAZAPA's impact is greater than ever.
How Far Does Your Dollar Go?
The PAZAPA team works incredibly hard to get the most out of every resource, so you can be sure that your donation makes a huge difference for vulnerable families in Haiti.
$25 = lab tests, x-rays and blood work for one child's surgery
$500 = clubfoot care and rehabilitation for one child
$4,700 = a year's supply of anti-seizure medications for 100+ children with epilepsy
$8 = a week's worth of hot meals and rides to school for one child
$300 = one child's 2018-19 specialized education
$4,000 = inclusive education trainings for rural teachers and officials in 2018-19
$50 = a disability rights session in a rural community
$200 = an outreach clinic to identify children with disabilities in remote areas
$10,000 = expansion of PAZAPA's programs and support into a 6th village
Advocacy & Art
$10 = supplies for one child to participate in art therapy
$1,500 = advocacy symposium to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
$4,500 = awareness programming during Carnival
$3 = a trio of banana trees for a family to rebuild post-hurricane
$150 = one Ti Commerce microloan distribution to 70 mothers
$2,000 = a year of supplies for the vocational programs
$10 = a desk and a chair appropriate for a child's needs
$10,000 = a rebuilt cafeteria floor that's safe and accessible for all children
$330,000 = final phase of the PAZAPA Center's post-earthquake rebuild
"Pou yon tab byen kanpe fòk li gen kat pye menm longè."
For a table to stand well, it must have all four legs the same length.
PAZAPA is fortunate to employ a dedicated team of over 30 people who live in Haiti's Southeast, and work together to empower the area's most vulnerable but valuable children and families. Some members of the team, like Physiotherapist Tony Antoine, were instrumental in PAZAPA's beginnings and have been on staff for over 30 years.
PAZAPA's management team from left to right: Marika MacRae, Executive Director | Jean Joseph Forgeas, Administrator | Annie-Rose Lessage, Program Manager | Mona Charles, Senior Teacher | Tony Antoine, Physiotherapy Specialist | Valery Lubin, Family Support Program Coordinator | Milose Dominique, Accountant | Pierre-Paul Exilus, Outreach Program Coordinator | Magdala Metellus, Administrative Assistant
"Yon sel dwet pa ka mange kalalou."
You can't eat okra with only one finger.
PAZAPA works closely with the Haitian government in order to effectively integrate with state efforts and advocate at the policy level — including BSEIPH (the Bureau of the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities) and the Ministry of Education.
To inform, expand and support the team’s efforts, we've also forged productive partnerships with local organizations — like RANIPH (Réseau Associatif National Pour l'Intégration des Personnes Handicapées) and Centre d'Education Speciale — and international entities — including the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, CBM, Global Fund for Children and Plan International.
PAZAPA is supported by the efforts of The Siloé Project and Canadian Association Step by Step. PAZAPA's impact would not be possible without the generosity of our individual supporters and talented volunteers.