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Empowering children with disabilities and their families in Haiti since 1987

Welcome to the Pazapa Center for Children with Disabilities

Tout moun se moun, tout moun pa menm."

Haitian proverb: Everyone is someone, but not everyone is the same.

Mission

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 empowering their families and promoting acceptance within their communities.


 

"Piti piti zwazo fe niche li."

Little by little, a bird builds its nest.

Programs

The Pazapa model is based upon the guiding principles of solidarity, mutual respect, equity and inclusion. Pazapa — "step by step" in Creole — has empowered over 2,000 of Haiti’s most marginalized families since 1987 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. 

Inclusive Education

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. 

Outreach

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. 

Advocacy

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.

Family Support

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.

Art

Training in creative vocations for Haitian teens with disabilities. Art therapy and performing arts opportunities for all the children and families served by PAZAPA. 


 

Impact

Thanks to our dedicated staff, skilled volunteers, collaborative partners and generous donors, Pazapa has made a positive impact in thousands of lives despite extraordinary hardship. Even after the 2010 earthquake, our supporters made it possible to continue providing essential services and rebuild. Natural disasters, political upheavals and economic shocks have come and gone, but thanks to you, Pazapa is able to serve more families than ever.

The Pazapa team works incredibly hard to get the most out of every resource. See what a difference you can make for vulnerable families in Haiti.  

 
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Medical Care

$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

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Inclusive Education

$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

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Outreach

$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

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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

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Family Support

$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

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Accessibility

$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

"They come here, they treat her respectfully, they show her things that help her learn. There were a lot of neighbors who used to treat her poorly. But since PAZAPA has been visiting us, the community has begun to accept her more."   - Jesula Dulière, mother of a young woman (pictured with PAZAPA teacher, Mona Charles) who has been visited by staff at home in a rural village for years

"They come here, they treat her respectfully, they show her things that help her learn. There were a lot of neighbors who used to treat her poorly. But since PAZAPA has been visiting us, the community has begun to accept her more."

- Jesula Dulière, mother of a young woman (pictured with PAZAPA teacher, Mona Charles) who has been visited by staff at home in a rural village for years

"It was an incredible honor to serve as Queen and the parade was the most beautiful day of my life. I'm grateful for all that I've achieved because of the PAZAPA School. I would not have gotten an education without PAZAPA."   - 13 year-old Woodleyna Pierre, 2018 Carnival Queen, soccer star and accomplished student in the PAZAPA School for the Deaf

"It was an incredible honor to serve as Queen and the parade was the most beautiful day of my life. I'm grateful for all that I've achieved because of the PAZAPA School. I would not have gotten an education without PAZAPA."

- 13 year-old Woodleyna Pierre, 2018 Carnival Queen, soccer star and accomplished student in the PAZAPA School for the Deaf

"Without PAZAPA my child would have real difficulties functioning in this community. Here, when people see a handicapped child, they are viewed as something you throw away, useless. But, thanks to PAZAPA…she can participate in all kinds of activities, and now she can read and write. PAZAPA has done something incredible for the whole town. Ti Commerce helps us a lot…it allows greater profit. My clients have needs and now I can satisfy them.”   - Immacula Toussaint, formerly a  Ti-Commerce  microloan program participant whose daughter attended PAZAPA's Special Education School

"Without PAZAPA my child would have real difficulties functioning in this community. Here, when people see a handicapped child, they are viewed as something you throw away, useless. But, thanks to PAZAPA…she can participate in all kinds of activities, and now she can read and write. PAZAPA has done something incredible for the whole town. Ti Commerce helps us a lot…it allows greater profit. My clients have needs and now I can satisfy them.”

- Immacula Toussaint, formerly a Ti-Commerce microloan program participant whose daughter attended PAZAPA's Special Education School


  “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.

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PAZAPA’s management team from left to right: Marika MacRae, Executive Director | Jean Joseph Forgeas, Administor | Annie-Rose Lessage, Program Manager |

Mona Charles, Senior Teacher | Tony Antoine, Physiotherapy Specialist | Valery Lubin, Family Support Program Coordinator


 

"Yon sel dwet pa ka mange kalalou."

You can't eat okra with only one finger.

 
 
 

“PAZAPA is filling an absolutely critical void in Haiti. The staff is extraordinarily dedicated, as is the board. The most amazing part is seeing kids that I worked with 10 years ago who are now high school graduates, valued by their family and community.”

- Cathy Dorvil, longtime volunteer and donor

 

PAZAPA's Tony Antoine and volunteers - Dr. Kevin Latz, Dr. Fred McGlynn and Dr. Brian Deignan - join a patient and his mother after performing a free corrective tibial surgery.

 
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"Men anpil chay pa lou."

Many hands make the load lighter.

Please join us!

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