A brand new center for children with special needs in the Southeast
The PAZAPA Center for Children with Special Needs opened on February 27th in Jacmel. Its new earthquake-resistant building has been adapted to meet the conditions of people with disabilities. The construction of this building was funded by Plan Haiti and the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) to the tune of more than 250,000 USD.
Publié le 2015-03-05 | Le Nouvelliste
llThe opening ceremony of the building designed to provide an adequate framework to the teaching-learning process of students with special needs. Several celebrities, including the German Ambassador accredited to Haiti, the Deputy Director General MENFP, local authorities and donors took part in this activity.
In their speeches, the speakers emphasized the importance of this center for the Southeast community. "The goal of this initiative is to give these children a chance to have continuous schooling," said Marika Macrea, PAZAPA Director, noting that the center hosts 173 students in two shifts,. "But we work with hundreds of disabled people throughout the department," she added.
Macrea reported that when this center was founded in 1987, there was no real structures in place for the disabled. She believes that much remains to be done to achieve a fully inclusive society. Macrea took the opportunity to thank the donors who made the reconstruction of the center possible.
According to Alexis Joseph, CBM Manager, the building is earthquake and hurricane resistant and was built to the universal accessibility standards. "It includes four classrooms, a sewing workshop, a cooking workshop, an administrative building a therapy room, and a computer room.”
"With this new building, the disabled children of Jacmel and the Southeast will now have access to education and rehabilitation services in a safe and decent space,” said Régine Polynices, CBM National Coordinator. The coordinator has promised to continue supporting PAZAPA in order to better meet the needs of disabled children in the department.
Gladys Guerrier Archange, Interim National Director at Plan International Haiti, also praised the center’s work. "All children have the right to inclusive quality education that respects their dignity. I am proud that Haiti Plan has contributed to the realization of such a project.”
Klaus Peter Schick, German ambassador in Haiti, said he was delighted to have participated in the ceremony and expressed satisfaction that his country had contributed via CBM. "I am delighted that we were able to contribute to the reconstruction of this exemplary school. Good luck, dear children, make the most of the opportunity that this school offers,” he said.
Jean Nadiny Célestin, representative of the Office of the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (BSEIPH in French) in the Southeast, appreciated the fact that the building meets the universal accessibility standards required by law of March 13, 2012 on the integration of people with disabilities in Articles 26, 27 and 41. According to Article 41 of this law "MENFP ensures that the school, university, and professional buildings built after this Act, are equipped to meet the needs of people with disabilities, facilitating their mobility and academic learning.”
Ecclésiaste Télémaque, Deputy General Director of the Ministry of Education, said "We hope that this collaboration will continue for the center multiplies throughout the country because people with special needs are found across the country.” He thanked all those who have contributed to the construction of this center.
Article by Bertrand Mercéus
Translated from Le Nouvelliste
by Rachele Viard