Kay Germaine: Supporting children with special needs in the community
At NPH, we help vulnerable families in the community by providing low-cost professional care for children with special needs. June 13, 2019 - Haiti
Dominique, accompanied by her mother Docelusse Marie Enude, at the Kay Germaine campus.
In Haiti, most severely disabled children are abandoned. Not because they are unwanted, but because there are so few services available to their families to support them. Inspired by the success and knowledge gained from Kay Christine, our program for children with special needs at NPH Haiti, we expanded our services to reach into the communities of Port-au-Prince for families with children who have special needs. In 2008 we began Kay Germaine, the only special education school of its kind in Haiti. This is our community school for children with special needs.
At Kay Germaine, we provide specialized educational services and ongoing rehabilitation to children with special needs. Kay Germaine is also unique in that our skilled expat volunteers train and up-skill local therapists, giving our program a greater degree of sustainability and self-sufficiency for the future.
In Kay Germaine we have nine classrooms, a sensory room, five rehabilitation rooms, and a swimming pool for aquatic therapy. In October 2013, in recognition of the rising need for our programs, we inaugurated Kay Gabriel, a program which serves 40 patients every day for physical/muscular therapy, speech/language therapy, neurological disabilities and paralysis, as well as 50 adult stroke patients per week.
Dominique is a 14-year-old girl, the fifth child in her family. When she was two years old, her mother noticed increased difficulties in her speech and began asking around for advice.
Some people thought she might have ankyloglossia, known as tongue-tie, others believed it could be a more ‘mystic’ illness. Sadly, they were not able to immediately find affordable help for her.
Years later, in 2009, Dominique and her family heard of NPH Haiti’s Kay Germaine program for youth with special needs, and she was able to enroll. Now, several years later, she is speaking more clearly and more often, and will soon be graduating!
According to her mother,”Our neighbors and friends thought Dominique would never be able to talk. But now not only is she talking, she’s helping me with various tasks around the house. Thanks to the special needs program at NPH, my child is improving so much.”
And from Dominique herself, “My name is Dominique and I go to school at Kay St. Germaine. Before, I wasn’t able to talk, but right now I can. Thank you.”
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Denso Gay Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson