Outreach to children who live with a disability

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Outreach to children who live with a disability

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

PAZAPA’s home visit program reaches out to children in southeast Haiti who are severely disabled.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

PAZAPA’s outreach program reaches out to children who are severely disabled and unable to travel through mountainous trails and rutted roads to the PAZAPA Center in Jacmel. To properly care for these children, the family caregivers are oftentimes unable to leave the home. Haitian local schools do not accept children with disabilities. PAZAPA believes that those children are educable and, with intervention, can grow up to become contributing members of society. Coupling a disability with lack of schooling severely limits a child’s potential to earn a living once s/he reaches adulthood. PAZAPA staff work with village authorities and local schools so that children who live with a disability may enrol in and attend their neighbourhood schools. Families in remote areas have no resources in terms of child development. Remote villages do not offer screening clinics for children with disabilities and their families, as well as community leaders, oftentimes do not know what to do and how to help the children as well as their families.
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Section 1: About You
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Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Phone

c/o (518) 439-7759

Organization Address

c/o 9 Woodmont Dr.; Delmar, NY 12054

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
What makes your idea unique?

PAZAPA is unique since it is the only school that targets children with disabilities in southeastern Haiti. The rural areas outside of the metropolitan Jacmel area are home to one million people. PAZAPA extends its programs into these surrounding rural villages. Staff and volunteers hold screening clinics to identify children who live with disabilities and they help families and community leaders design their own programs, thus utilizing local resources.

PAZAPA finances weeklong seminars for representative mothers at a Port-au-Prince training center. These mothers are taught simple child development techniques which they then use to assist families in their rural home communities. This is a very solid training program that is very effective.

PAZAPA facilitates small independent commercial ventures through "Ti Commerce" (small business) loans for parents of its children, it is a micro-lending program.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

To-date, PAZAPA has served over 300 Haitian children in greater Jacmel. "Mainstreaming" is the best and often the only choice for children with disabilities, particularly in Haiti’s rural districts. Supported by community advocates, PAZAPA has influenced government and private schools to accept children with disabilities into the classroom. PAZAPA arranges and funds surgical care and follow-up for physically disabled children and has facilitated the establishment of rural community centers where children with disabilities and their families can meet and share ideas. PAZAPA also facilitates meetings in Jacmel for the exchange of ideas and experiences among parents and has financed weeklong seminars for representative mothers at a Port-au-Prince training center. These mothers are taught simple child development techniques which they then use to assist families in their rural areas.


(1) Host clinic twice/year, staffed with volunteer surgeons from North America. A US neurologist visits once/year. (2) Maintain and operate a school for disabled children. The school runs from October-June with summer camp in July. Home Visits are conducted on Thursdays. (3) Provide educational programming for deaf students: September-June. Students participate in summer camp. (4) Maintain and operate the present six outreach locations, staffed with monitors who work with parents, oversee training sessions, or assist families with bringing children to the Center for treatment. The outreach program is ongoing but does not have regular office hours. (5) PAZAPA staff advocate on behalf of children with disabilities, particular with local officials so that these children may attend their neighborhood schools. (6) Visit home-bound children in remote, rural areas, treat children, work with them and their families regarding the child’s educational goals, and work with the caregivers regarding nutrition, exercise and hygiene.


Although the Outreach Program has brought help to over 300 children in the rural areas, PAZAPA recognizes that this is only the tip of the iceberg. With a population of close to one million in Haiti’s Southeast, approximately 70% of the population lives in isolated rural areas. Through its Outreach Initiative, PAZAPA can, with the support of the community, offer solutions for local, rural children who live with a disability. Solutions vary depending on local resources and the isolation factor. Regular clinics are scheduled to identify children with special needs. In some areas, PAZAPA provides a monitor to work with parent groups; the monitor oversees training sessions locally or assists families when they bring their children to the PAZAPA Center in Jacmel for treatment.

At the end of the funding period, PAZAPA will have conducted ten additional outreach events such as triage clinics and training sessions for local families that are led by a PAZAPA monitor.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Year 1: The outreach program requires reliable transportation so that the PAZAPA educational and medical staff can safely travel to the remote areas where all of the children who are enrolled in the program live.

Year 2: Continued funding of the overall program which covers staff and medical personnel and additional funding to cover the food donations to all families who have children enrolled in the home visit program.

Year 3: Reliable transportation, sufficient funding so that PAZAPA can operate without cuts to any of its programs and additional funding so that the families who have children enrolled in the home visit program may receive donations of food stables which they so desperately need.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

For more than twenty years, PAZAPA has been working closely with the families of disabled children. The home visit program was initiated to support those families who are facing many challenges such as the inability to leave the home or find stable and reliable income or the lack of transportation that keeps them from bringing the child to the Center in Jacmel. PAZAPA was burdened by its inability to feed the family due to the lack of funding and cancellation of the dry food distribution. Until September of 2007, Catholic Relief Services provided PAZAPA with dry food for distribution. Due to lack of funding, Catholic Relief Services canceled this program in September 2007. Over the last two years the home visit children have become progressively weak and as a result no longer have the energy to work with the PAZAPA monitors. A recent and very generous donation from Nourriture du Monde is earmarked to ensure that 15 children will be fed properly and will gain their strength back. The Center has also supported the families by including them in the small loan program and by working hands on with the children twice a month in their homes. In the sad event additional funding that sustains the children is cut again, PAZAPA’s home visit program will suffer and, ultimately, not be successful.

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.


How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

PAZAPA does not operate in a vacuum and is always on the look-out for partnerships within the community that will strengthen the organization and further the cause of the children PAZAPA serves.

o As of 1/2008, CURE International has partnered with PAZAPA and is currently covering all serial casting, orthopaedic treatment, and surgery for those with clubfeet under the age of two. Approximately 16 patients per month are covered by this program.

o PAZAPA has entered into partnership with Healing Hands Haiti, who, upon diagnosis for immediate treatment, treats PAZAPA’s cleft palate and hydrocephaly patients.

o A one year partnership with PLAN Haiti helps both hearing impaired and mentally challenged children to express their rights through different art forms (painting, photography, videography, acting).

o The Rotary Club of Jacmel is supporting the school fees of six students enrolled in the PAZAPA School for the Deaf.

o St. Michael’s Hospital is offering PAZAPA its only operating room at a reduced cost so that the center can perform its orthopedic surgeries locally.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

(1) Cash-funding: PAZAPA provides the highest quality of care, treatment, and education for the poorest and most neglected children in the Western Hemisphere. Since its inception, PAZAPA has offered all services free-of-charge, including medical treatment and educational benefits.

(2) Reliable Transportation: In late 2008, PAZAPA’s only truck was badly damaged in an accident. Roads in Haiti are rough and a rugged and require reliable transportation that will withstand potholes, gravel, sand, water etc. The truck had been very helpful and served many goals, one of which was to transport staff to the homes of disabled children who cannot attend school at the PAZAPA center in Jacmel. It was also used to bring medical volunteers to PAZAPA.

(3) In-kind donations: the home visit program brings food to home-bound, disabled children and their families. Food rations consist of bags of rice and beans, flour, cornmeal, oil, spaghetti and milk. All children enrolled in PAZAPA’s home visit program are severely malnourished.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

In 1982, Peter Cunningham came to Haiti with a group of volunteers from San Francisco. They first worked at Mother Theresa's hospice in the La Saline slums of Port au Prince and later at a hurricane-destroyed Baptist mission and clinic called Siloé, located in Jacmel on the southeast coast. Doris Clark, who had been a Peace Corps volunteer working as a nurse in Cité Soleil joined the team in 1985. With the help of volunteers, the Siloé clinic and school were repaired and opened to the public.
Although Haiti experienced a period of political unrest after 1986, the Siloé volunteers continued their support. PAZAPA was established in 1987 with the purpose of helping children with disabilities who live in greater Jacmel and Haiti’s southeast.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

PAZAPA’s mission is to “support the treatment, education, and development of children with handicaps, and to integrate them into the community at-large.” In Haitian Creole, PAZAPA means "step by step," and, step by step, PAZAPA is making a difference in the lives of Haiti’s disabled children. Furthermore, by modeling and fostering acceptance of children with disabilities, PAZAPA is effecting systemic change in the treatment and education of, and Haitians’ attitudes towards, children with disabilities.

In Haiti, 95% of all schools are fee-based – even for the poorest of the poor. At present, there are between 500,000 and one million children and youth out-of-school because their families are unable to pay the fees, and an equal number are under constant threat of dismissal because their parents have trouble making regular payments. Furthermore, Haitian local schools do not accept children with disabilities. PAZAPA believes that children who live with a disability are educable and, with intervention, can grow up to become contributing members of society. Coupling a disability with lack of schooling severely limits a child’s potential to earn a living once s/he reaches adulthood. PAZAPA works with local school officials and village administrators so that children who live with a disability may enrol in their local schools.

Integrating a home-visit program for children who cannot attend school and strengthening the families of these children translates to ensuring that the weakest societal links will not break. In an already fragile society, strengthening the weak ultimately strengthens any community, strong communities make for a stable society and thus a viable economy and an even stronger country.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Charity Channel