These are all qualities that we take for granted every day. We don’t have to think about how we get from A to B. We don’t have to worry about someone helping us with the everyday activities. We don’t have to worry about being stared at for being ‘different’.
Each week, a central part of our work here in Haiti is supporting a respite centre for children with severe disabilities.
Providing the children with specialised care whilst allowing the parents time to work and rest from the 24/7 caregiving that comes with having a child with a disability. So, a couple of weeks ago was SO exciting for us.
We were incredibly blessed to have Team Canada Healing Hands come and support us, along with other organisations in the North of Haiti, by providing us with specialised, custom fit wheelchairs for each of our children who have mobility problems. The incredibly dedicated team worked with immense fluidity and adaptability to distribute the 100 chairs, when faced with the challenges that working in a country like Haiti can throw at you at the last minute.
Our children used to share an assortment of strollers, used almost solely for the purpose of transporting them. But now, EACH of our
children has their own specialised chair, fitted to their exact size and posture. As just one example, meet little Dlobany. He is the son
of one of the cleaners at the hospital. Until this week, he spent most of his time in a communal stroller, or laying out on one of the beds. Now, he sits up proud in a chair that fully supports his torso and will give him a much better chance at gaining strength through his torso and back to be able to sit up independently in the future.
It is amazing to see what a difference something so seemingly ‘simple’* as a wheelchair can do. But to see first hand the intricacy and love that went into measuring, designing, building and fitting each of those 100 chairs, there are really no words. Our children now have a new chance at accessibility, independence and acceptance.
*I say simple as up until that week I had no idea just how complex and intricate wheelchair designing and fitting was!