The 2014 Lucienne Deschamps Humanitarian Prize awarded to five institutions and one personality
This year, the Lucienne Deschamps Foundation honors:
The Saint-Vincent Center for Handicapped Children
«For its work in caring for and integrating children with disabilities into society»
Created in 1945 by the Episcopalian nun Sister Joan, the Saint-Vincent Center for Handicapped Children has been fighting for 69 years for the integration of people with disabilities into Haitian society. Today, it is the benchmark institution for the education of the blind, the deaf, and the physically and mentally handicapped. In addition, he welcomes in his boarding school, 70 children who come from the province. These students are housed, clothed, and cared for year round by the Center.
By showing ingenuity, the teachers of Saint-Vincent are transforming traditional textbooks to compensate for the lack of teaching materials adapted to the disabled and follow the program of the Ministry of National Education. Proof of the quality of the education provided, the Saint-Vincent Center obtained a 100% pass rate for the sixth year exams and a 90% success rate for the ninth year fundamental exams in 2013.
The Saint-Vincent Center is much more than a school, it is also a specialized clinic. The disabled come from the ten departments of the country to obtain quality medical services at reduced cost.
Since the earthquake which caused great damage to the structures of the establishment, the Saint-Vincent Center has faced many difficulties. Located at the bottom of the city, in the area declared an "administrative city" by the state, the Saint-Vincent Center is facing eviction.
Despite all these difficulties, Saint-Vincent continues his mission. He wants to contribute to the creation of a Haitian sign language and wants to teach it to professionals from different sectors of activity of society among other projects
The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph de Cluny in Haiti
« For his relentless commitment to providing quality education to young Haitians »
The congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Cluny was founded by Anne-Marie Javouhey in 1807. Present across five continents, it has been active in Haiti since June 5, 1864.
Today, it has around 20 schools and more than ten thousand students from different backgrounds. A sponsorship fund supplied by alumni of Sainte-Rose de Lima and other donors provides hundreds of low-income students with access to quality education.
Although education is its main mission, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny also devotes itself to social pastoral work and offers health care with two dispensaries that serve disadvantaged communities like that of Saint-Antoine in Port. -au-Prince.
Since 1893, the Sisters of Saint-Joseph have managed the Sainte-Madeleine boarding school for orphaned or displaced girls. A new room was to accommodate around 100 boarding school pupils in Bourdon, but the 2010 earthquake caused irreparable damage to the building and reconstruction on the site was discouraged.
However, the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny do not give up. After a long search, they acquired a plot of 2 squares in Morne à Cabrit, near the Village Lumane Casimir. Today, they are actively seeking funds to complete the construction of the new Sainte-Madeleine boarding school.
« For its work to raise awareness, educate, protect and preserve the Parc la Visite »
In 2004, sixteen young professionals, dismayed by the rapid degradation of one of their favorite natural sites, came together to save the Parc National la Visite.
Indeed, the Seguin Foundation, has not stopped sounding the alarm bell for 10 years now The stakes are high because the National Park La Visite is a real water reservoir for the departments of the West and Southeast with 80 sources. Named "Massif de la Selle Biosphere Reserve" by Unesco, the park's 12,000 hectares are home to many species of rare and endemic birds, amphibians and reptiles. In addition, it conceals numerous caves and chasms to discover.
To combat the deforestation undertaken by the population of the area, the Seguin Foundation is joining forces with the heads of peasant associations and local elected officials to stop the systematic destruction of forest space in favor of market gardening.
It contributes to the training of forest managers and agricultural technicians for the management of the Park and a nursery with a capacity of 350,000 seedlings per year. The Seguin Foundation also trains local caving guides to encourage exploration of the site's caves, thereby helping to promote responsible eco-tourism.
It engages the peasants in its reforestation program and the construction of dry walls to fight erosion. The Foundation still calls on them for the maintenance of the access roads between Furcy and Parc la Visite. It thus shows the local population how the protection of nature and the responsible use of natural resources generates wealth.
Today, the Seguin Foundation has around forty active members and sets itself the challenge of increasing the capacity of its nursery to 1.5 million seedlings per year by 2015. After the “green bag” sold in supermarkets in Port-au-Prince, and the “one jersey, one tree” campaign, the Seguin Foundation presents this year the book “Together, let's save the Parc la Visite” to raise awareness and raise funds for its projects.
HAPPY HEARTS FUND
« For his commitment to the construction of school infrastructure in Haiti for sustainable development »
Happy Hearts Fund works exclusively in countries affected by natural disasters. Once the post-disaster relief aid wears off, the Foundation steps in by building strong schools so that no child is deprived of the hope for a better future that only education can provide.
The president of this organization herself survived the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and witnessed the oblivion children fall into after the first months of humanitarian aid. Indeed, in some villages in Thailand, it took more than 6 years for the schools to be rebuilt. As a result, the students of these communities suffered doubly from the Tsunami.
With this experience, Mrs Petra Nemcova, a Czech national, set up in 2005, Happy Hearts Fund. Ten years later, the Foundation has already completed the construction of its 100th school and is present in 9 countries.
In Haiti, following the 2010 earthquake, Happy Hearts Fund built 6 schools serving 3,388 students from different municipalities such as Cité Soleil, Jacmel, and Delmas. Thanks to innovative methods of resource mobilization, funds have already been collected for the construction of 6 additional schools.
Keen to involve the community and its leaders in these schools, Happy Hearts Fund established partnerships with local institutions from the first phase of construction through to the day-to-day management of the establishment.
In addition, all schools built by Happy Hearts Fund meet national and international building standards and are designed to serve as a community safe haven in the event of a natural disaster.
BERNARD MEVS HOSPITAL
« For making quality medical care accessible to all budgets »
In a country where the public health system is failing and free medical care is almost non-existent, the Bernard Mevs Hospital stands out for the quality of the medical care provided, which is affordable to all budgets.
It is also distinguished by the variety of services offered such as: intensive care, emergency department, trauma, surgery, orthopedics, laboratory, radiology, breast cancer and HIV treatment, among others. In addition, the Hospital has the most sophisticated CT scanner in the country. More than 3,500 patients are treated monthly at this hospital at a cost subsidized to more than 50%.
Created in 1994 by the Mevs family, L’Hôpital contributes to the training of Haitian and foreign health professionals through an exchange program with universities and hospitals in the United States. The center also hosts a three-year pediatric residency program.
Despite funding from various partners, including the Haitian State, the budget to sustain these different programs and services remains the number one obstacle for this non-profit hospital.
But far from being defeated, the Bernard Mevs Hospital is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to build the most sophisticated intensive care center in the country. Once completed, this center will provide the highest standard of intensive care services in the entire Caribbean.
JACQUES BOURJOLLY JUNIOR
« For its commitment to children deprived of sport »
Seeing children smile is the motivation of Jacques Bourjolly Junior, better known as Kako.
Indeed, Mr. Bourjolly is dedicated to making disadvantaged children happy, especially through sport, because for him sport is a method of teaching the great values of life such as teamwork, living together, a sense of a job well done, listening to others, discipline, and self-determination.
After having known a certain notoriety as an actor, Kako created in 2008, The Smile Project, the smile project. Together with its partners, it is undertaking a major campaign to collect toys in order to distribute them to more than 1,000 destitute children in four orphanages in the metropolitan area. The operation is a great success and encourages Mr. Bourjolly to continue in this direction.
Following the earthquake of January 12, 2010, he undertook a second campaign, but this time it was about putting on 3,000 children. Kako and his team visit 7 orphanages and take the sizes of each of the children in order to ensure that each beneficiary has sneakers in their size.
Since these first two initiatives, Jaques Bourjolly Junior has pursued various projects in the fields of education and sport. Whether it is renovating the Vincent gymnasium in Cap-Haitien or equipping the dormitories and the kitchen of an orphanage, or even restoring the playground of the Lycée de Petionville, he is committed to the community with concrete actions.
In 2012, Jaques Bourjolly Jr.'s projects went under the name Kako’s Kids. This year, for the 3rd consecutive year, it welcomed 120 street children and orphans in a basketball camp. These beneficiaries thus acquired the basics of basketball and received a hot meal at each meeting.
Recognizing the positive impact that one person's action can have on those around them, Kako encourages other volunteers to get involved. It particularly targets adolescents from well-off backgrounds in order to awaken in them civic and civic awareness.
It is in this spirit that in 2015, Kako will launch in Haiti, the project "Gran fre, Ti fre" in partnership with the Reception Center of Delmas. The objective of this project is to associate a mentor with each of the adolescents at the center to support them, advise them and inspire them to take charge of their lives.
To join your efforts to the noble activities of the 2014 Lucienne Deschamps Humanitarian Prize recipients, you can contact them at the following telephone numbers:
Centre Saint-Vincent pour Enfants handicapés : (509) 2940-1015/3788-0434
Congrégation des Sœurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny : (509) 3910-5778/3738-1546
Fondation Seguin: (509) 2813-1347 / 3449-7445
Happy Hearts Fund : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hôpital Bernard Mevs: (509) 3701-0149 /3838-7655
Jacques “Kako” Bourjolly Jr: email@example.com