School For Students With Disabilities In Haiti Brings Hope

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Institute Monfort school for the deaf and blind in Haiti

The Montfort Institute, a school for sensory disabled children was founded in April 1957 by the Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom. When the main building of the institution was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake, the deaf and mute children were shifted to under makeshift tarps and tents. World Vision, a non-governmental international organization, with Korean funding of over US$ 1 million, founded a new 24 classroom building. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities. The organization works worldwide, so that the challenging children can reach their full potential. The school now provides sustainable educational opportunities for 350 deaf and mute students. World Vision also extends financial assistance to four other rehabilitation centers for children with disabilities in Haiti. In Croix-des bouquets, the motto of Korean-funded World Vision School is, like every other child, children with special needs should also have access to improved quality holistic education. The aim of their Rehabilitating Schools and Facilities for Students with Disabilities project is supporting education for life for all Haitian children. Since 1978, World Vision, the non-government organization, after establishing its office in Haiti, has supported long-term development programs focused on child well-being and community development. The organization has also provided relief supplies and assisted with recovery from major natural disasters including 2010 earthquake.

Like every child, children with disabilities too have many abilities, however, they are often excluded from the mainstream of the society by discrimination and lack of support. They remain almost invisible and most vulnerable in the society. In countries like Haiti, disabilities are linked to the natural and supernatural worlds; hardly ever it is considered a medical issue. Often a shame and social stigma are attached to disabled individuals and their families. Many Haitians are scared of disabilities and are uneasy around people with disabilities. Disabilities are even treated as contagious. There is noticeable discrimination against people with disabilities in Haitian culture. According to a national statistics, about 10% of the total population or about 800,000 is the total number of disabled people in Haiti.

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