Gangs and guns

Gangs and Guns,
Murders and rapes,
Burnt houses, burnt police stations,
Empty schools, empty streets,
In house,
Imprisoned at home while the prisoners were sprung free.
Daily Dead.
Daily shot – dead bodies on the streets.
Unidentified bodies have names –
and families!
Even in death their weary bodies find no peace,
Left to feed the dogs and the pigs while wailing mothers wonder what happened to their sons that never made it home.
Traumatized families hunted from their humble homes try to find a place where the bullets and the gangs can’t find them.
Nomads – not by choice – and no sign of any green pasture to lay down a weary head.
Politicians, gangs and diplomats talk the talk and promise the promises but the ones walking
the walk are the poor.
Time and time again the poor are pushed and shoved and battered and bloodied and,
still the powers that be, spill lies, turning blind eyes.
Talking for the need for peace without making any efforts to sow one seed of precious peace.
Vested interests-guns and drugs
Well lined pockets of fancy suited thugs.
Gangs in sandals and Gangs wearing suits
Ghettos and boardrooms
United in evil
Computing horror and death
In destruction they find wealth.
Gangs and Guns
Threaten to kill Hope
But Hope Springs Eternal
And one day the guns will be silenced.
One day.

Gena Heraty
6 March 2024

A passion for occupational therapy in Haiti

Raised with NPH, giving back to NPH

Anabelle recently completed her first year as an occupational therapist, and she loves it.


She grew up from an early age at NPH Haiti. It took her a while to pin down her preferred area of work, but she always threw herself into everything with passion and energy.

She is enormously grateful to her godparents for the love and support they have given her.

Why did you decide to study occupational therapy?

After finishing my classical studies, I spent a year in service, at Sainte Germaine, located in Tabarre in a special school belonging to NPH, where there are children with reduced mobility. The work I was doing was voluntary, but I had no idea if what I was doing with the children encompassed a science, so Gena put the idea in my head. I was researching occupational therapy. It was in this context that I chose to study occupational therapy at a university in Léogane, because it was the only university that offered this course.

Was there anything else you wanted to do when you grew up?

Now that I have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, I have a great desire to continue my studies abroad in order to enrich my knowledge, to help the faculty academically and to continue to serve the people of my country.

Could you tell me a little about where you grew up? Are you originally from Port-au-Prince?

Since I was a baby, I spent my entire childhood in an orphanage in Kenscoff, still run by NPH. I spent my entire school life there, from kindergarden to 9th grade, after which I left kenscoff to go and live in Tabarre, in another NPH home to continue my classical studies. Since I didn’t know my family, Kenscoff is my hometown, so yes, I’m originally from Port-au-Prince.

This year marks the end of your first year as a therapist. Where have you been working? What’s your day like?

I’m an occupational therapist in my third year, graduating in Haiti December 2022. I work in a therapy clinic in Léogane as a therapist and clinical supervisor. I’m there to supervise students when they come for internships; I accompany them when they make assessments, treatments and interventions for patients, in order to correct them. I do a mid-term and final evaluation for the students, and then send the documents to the internship coordinator.

What are your plans for the future?

I have many project but one I would like to realize is long-term, and that’s to set up an occupational therapy workshop. The aim is to facilitate occupational therapy treatment based on occupation and activities, to promote the profession, to show the public our role in the health field and to enable patients to be autonomous in the activities of daily life. Also, to show the importance of activity in the treatment of patients.

We know that Haiti is in a complicated situation at the moment, but you mentioned that it was important for you to stay in Haiti. Can you tell us more about that?

Actually, staying in Haiti requires a lot of courage, patience, perseverance and motivation. With the situation in the country, things are really difficult. There aren’t many rehabilitation professionals or therapy clinics in Haiti. Most rehabilitation clinics are built by foreigners. On top of all that, therapy is very much in demand in the country. In the clinic where I work, I mostly see stroke and fracture patients, because there are a lot of accidents on public roads. The population needs young professionals like me to reduce the risk of illness and help people to be independent in their daily activities.

In your experience, how important are the NPH sponsors? How have they supported you over the years?

The godparents are like biological parents. They take care of almost everything we need. Growing up at NPH was a great advantage and opportunity for me. With the support of my godparents, I’ve been able to achieve a lot. I want to emphasize education as a key to success. Without their help, I wouldn’t know what I’d become. Thanks to their help, I was able to finish all my classical studies and then I had the chance to go to university, pay for transport, rent, eat and enjoy the happiness of life without financial difficulties. Now I’m a self-sufficient, independent woman, thanks to the support of my godmothers and godfathers, who enabled me to become an occupational therapist today to serve the people of Haiti. Now I continue to follow the NPH path by helping my NPH sisters who are in financial difficulty. I’m so proud of myself, I’ll never stop thanking NPH, and I carry it in my heart every day.

Anything else you’d like to explain or mention?

One thing I would like to add is to find the possibility to representing NPH on the international channel as a Haitian to show its fruit and that the support I’ve been given is not in vain. I think it’s important because it will motivate other young NPH people to see my story and my career at NPH, and it will be a source of pride for the sponsors to continue supporting the organization’s young people.

You can’t run from bullets in a straight skirt!

I told her she looked lovely in her matching skirt and blouse.

She told me that in the morning, she chose a skirt that was not too straight, because it is hard to run from gun fire if you are wearing a straight skirt!

She frequently has to run from gun fire. She is a valued staff member and is the mother of a seriously disabled child.

I will never look at a skirt in the same way again.

“Gena, I will be late to work this morning – the road is blocked with burning tyres so the bus can’t get by and we are all on foot”.

She sent a video – blazing tyres right across the road and people on foot making their way through the flames.

Despite the dangers, she came to work as did another employee.

Bonswa Madam Gena – I am walking in the grounds when I hear the friendly greeting.

I turn and see the mother carrying her tall gangly son – he is almost as long as her and I wondered how she can carry him. His great big smile hides all the misery he has known and her tired frame is hidden by her gratitude to be out of hospital after three weeks.

“Did ye get blood? says I and she happily tells me that, yes, he got blood.

You can not imagine how difficult it is to get blood in Haiti!

How he is still alive I do not know. He is supporting his family, as the stipend we give his mom every month is her only stable income. A stipend is hardly an income but it sure does help!

While in the office making a photo copy, I hear a gentle, Bonswa Mme. Gena, and I turn to see a mother I have known for years. When I first met her, she was a strong young mother, proudly holding her little girl that was immaculately dressed and was having seizures due to a damaged brain and a condition called microcephaly.

At the time, I could not help thinking that the road ahead would not be easy for her and her beautiful daughter.

Several years have gone by-armed gangs forced her from her home. She had twins – one died and the other one also has a severe disability.

She herself is now very skinny and how tough it is for her! The light that shone bright in her eyes is dulled now by the daily struggles but her love for her children carries her through each day. That unwavering love is inspiring!Our humble support ends up being a hugh help – when you have so little any help is a big help!

I was in the hospital when I bumped into one of our employees.

‘How is your mother – I know she had an operation for hernia”?

Oh she is not good. She has a problem with her heart and she is getting worse. She is on oxygen.

Oh no, can I ask everyone to pray for her?

Oh yes. Please do.

That was in the morning.

In the afternoon the phone rang.

Madam Gena – I lost my mam. She is after dying.

The sports hall is looking beautiful-decorated in blue and yellow-royal blue and dark yellow. Tomorrow we have a celebration – we will celebrate all those with disabilities that come to our school and therapy program.

We will have a mass and after the mass there will a show.The children have been practicing for weeks and are really excited.

Tomorrow is their day to be center stage.

As I watched them rehearse – dance, and play and laugh – I thought Thank God!

Thank God they have this space – to learn and to have fun.

Thank God for the specialized services they can receive inside our walls.

Thank God they have this safe place to come to every day!

Thank God for their parents that work extremely hard to provide for them.

My heart is heavy with all the effort of not falling to pieces in the face of all the suffering.

My heart is overflowing with gratitiude for all the miracles I get to witness every single day.

30 November 2023

Haiti these days

Haiti these days
It’s hard to write about Haiti these days.
It’s hard to tell the stories – they are hard stories, terrifying stories.
Stories of burnt bodies – bodies of men and women, just like you and I.
Men and woman, going about their business, not bothering anyone, getting on a bus in the morning and being burnt alive in that bus.
Who knows?
Wrong place, wrong time?
A gang leader inflicting terror on the population?
It’s hard to talk about the mother of three kids, that went to the market last week and got killed on her way home.
She was in the tap tap (local transportation), the bandits stopped it. They robbed the passengers, trampled on the vegetables they were bringing home.
The mother of three, had a bag of rice.
They opened it, emptied it out and stomped all over it.
She cried out- “O Jesus, I have three kids, what will I give them to eat?”.
They shot her dead.
It’s hard to talk about the school children wearing helmets to school, wearing helmets inside the classroom, in the hope of protecting themselves from stray bullets.
Hard to talk about the teacher that got hit by a bullet, in his neck, while he was in the classroom teaching.
Hard to talk about the small kids lying on the ground under the school benches while massive gunfire can be heard all around them.
Not easy to talk about all children that cannot go to school because it is too dangerous for them to go on the road.
In the first two weeks of March, the UN say that at least 277 people have been murdered and 101 kidnappings have been reported.
Since January, UN staff have counted 531 killings. You can be sure the actual numbers are even higher. They say that many of those shootings were random shootings, where snipers shot into crowds of people.
It is heart breaking to talk to staff that have no idea what to do.
They are surrounded by bandits and gun fire.
They are prisoners in their own homes. Sleeping under their beds while the bullets rain down outside.
One lady, was forced to leave her home in August.
She rented a house in Sept and now seven months later, she has to move again as she is once more surrounded by gunfire and gangs.
Another asked me yesterday for a mattress – when you leave your house, you can’t take things with you – just a few small things. She and her son are staying with a friend.
Chances are, once you leave your house, the bandits will come and steal everything.
This happened to two members of our staff. Everything taken. 30 years of hard work – all gone.
Three of our teachers were attacked while on their way to work.
Three brave women.
I get so angry when I see the suffering.
When I see people fleeing from their homes.
When I see the videos of homes burnt to the ground.
Angry when I see how good people are living in terror.
Angry when every conversation is about who has been kidnapped and who has been killed.
Angry when the gangs publish videos of their massive assault weapons,
when they send out videos of themselves killing or raping their victims.
Videos where they make fun of the police trying to establish some law and order.
Videos that show them counting hugh sums of money – money from kidnappings.
A good friend of ours was kidnapped February 2nd. She was one of the founding doctors in our hospital.
We have to presume she is dead, as there has been no contact with her.
Many that are kidnapped are badly treated.
Others are not.
All are traumatized.
How not to be?
It’s hard to write about Haiti these days.
We hope for better days.
We do what we can to be there for those we meet
and we do our best to keep all our programs going.
The children and young people do well in our care and they give us the strength to face every day.
They themselves, that have suffered immensely in their young lives, are always quick with a smile and a hug.
We watch them learn new skills – like self feeding, dressing, undressing, making juice, making dinner – life-giving moments for them and for us.
Food for our souls.
It’s hard to write about Haiti these days.
Somehow, I feel it would be worse not to write.

Gena, 23 March 2023

An update from Gena

Tough Times

These are tough times,

Times of horrific violence,

Times of fleeing families

Fleeing from bullets, 

Fleeing from rape, 

Fleeing from kidnappers, 

Fleeing from gangs,

Fleeing from gang warfare.

Fleeing with nothing, to nowhere, 

Times of daily kidnappings 

Times of asasinations ,

of very public figures and,

not so public figures,

Brutal murders.

Bodies mutilated.

Bodies burned.

Bodies never found.

Times of stray bullets killing people,

In their homes,

on the street,

in a car,

stray bullets have become a major cause of death these times.

Times of dead bodies on the roads.

Who are they?

Who killed them?

Who knows?

Times of sleeplessness,

machine gun fire never lures people to sleep,

Racing hearts injected with fear are not conducive to sleep either.

Times of Terror,

terrified to leave your home,

terrified on the way to work,

terrified on the way home.

Too terrified to go to the hospital at night so you wait until the morning but the morning ends up being too late and your loved one dies on the way.

Times of closures,

schools closed,

hospitals closed,

businesses closed,

gas stations closed,

churches closed,

shops closed,

banks closed.

Times of emptiness,

fuel tanks empty,

food depots empty,

cooking gas tanks empty,

stomachs empty.

Times of walking,

everywhere people on foot as no public transport

Times of protests,

burning barricades,

tear gas,

live ammunition,

dead bodies,

dead journalists.

Times of sickness,

no transport to take the sick to hospital.

Many hospitals closed.

No oxygen in many.

No electricity in most.

Times of Cholera.

Times of Hunger.

Times of departures,

so many have left the country.

Friends, colleagues, young old-leaving-“anywhere will be better than Haiti’ is the mantra. 

Times when everyone has a headache-from thinking and stressing too much

Times of worrying,

how are our school kids?

do they have seizure meds?

how are they managing without therapy?

have they food and water? 

How are they managing locked in their homes for months?

Times of endless wondering why? 

Why Haiti? 

Why never a time of peace and prosperity?

Times of patience and hope-maybe this week things will improve.

Maybe fuel will be available.

Maybe school will open.

Maybe the killings will stop.

Times of amazing determination,

walking hours and hours to work and back.

A disabled wheelchair bound employee, negotiating passage through a burning barricade for his wife and new born baby.

Market ladies carrying huge loads down the mountain-no motor bikes due to fuel crisis.

Times to keep busy and keep positive.

So much work to be done.

Times of great need.

Times where there is no time to feel fed up because these desperate times call for supreme acts of solidarity.

Times when we need to stick together.

Times when the smile of a child lifts your spirit.

When the full moon reminds you, that you are part of a much bigger picture.

When you feel grateful for today because you have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

When you look at those in your care and see how far you have come, and your heart swells with gratitude and you know you are doing ok.

Times when you look at all those working with you and you think- wow! Such amazing men and women. Despite all their worries and all the dangers, they give their all to those in our care.

These are tough times.

These are terror filled times.

With the help of God and with your help,

We will get through them.

Sadly, many, many will not.

Gena Heraty

Appeal for Haiti by Senator Rónán Mullen

Rónán Mullen, senator and leader of the Human Dignity Alliance, wrote to his supporters on 15 October to encourage them to support the NPH Special Needs Programmes in Haiti.

He shared with them the following update from Gena Heraty, Director of the Special Needs Programmes.

Sadly the situation in Haiti goes from bad to worse and none of us expected it would ever get this bad. We have a combination of awful things happening:


Heavily armed gangs control most of the roads around the city so you risk your life if you go on those roads. The main road to the south has been blocked by gangs for over a year now so most of the people have had to leave the area called Martissaint – where you leave the Capital to go south. A non-profit human rights defence network recently reported that there are currently 90 active, heavily armed gangs around Port Au Prince alone. These gangs kidnap, rape, rob, kill, butcher. They are vicious, and we all know several people that were kidnapped by these gangs. To say that they terrorise people is to put it mildly.

Lack of Fuel

For weeks now there has been no diesel or petrol at the gas stations. So without fuel, you can imagine how quickly things go crazy.

No public transport, schools still closed, patients unable to get to hospitals. Our Special Needs School is still closed and even though our rehab center is open, very few patients can come for therapy as there is no fuel and no public transport.

Anti government demonstrations

The president was murdered in July 2021. Since then, the government has been led by the Prime Minister. For 2 weeks on end we have had anti-government demonstrations. Most end up being violent with people being shot – by the police. They shoot at them with tear gas and live ammunition. The crowds of people usually throw stones and destroy property and cars. Many places have been set on fire and countless businesses pillaged. Roads are blocked with huge barricades or burning tyres.

On several occasions the road from the orphanage to town has been blocked. People want the prime minister to resign and they want him to put down the price of fuel. He more than doubled the price in September when he removed the government subsidy on fuel. This led to an immediate increase in anti-government rallies.


Not only is food hard to come by due to the lack of fuel for transportation, but the cost of everything is sky high. People struggle to find drinking water. People are hungry.


Can you imagine having cholera in a country with limited access to clean water and hospitals? Well sadly Cholera is back again in Haiti and one report said that up to 70 prisoners have died from cholera in the past two weeks.

No Electricity

We never have electricity any more. In over a year maybe we have had at most 5 evenings when we had a few hours of electricity.

So things are dire right now. Many many people have left the country, and many of them are qualified doctors and nurses. No one sees a future here, and if you get kidnapped you have to pay huge amounts of money. They will ask for something like $300,000 US and you negotiate down as low as you can. We know many that had to pay over $60,000 but most people don’t tell how much they paid. For sure, no one can afford to be kidnapped.

Many of my staff have been robbed at gunpoint. More have had to leave their homes due to gangs taking over their areas. Hiding under your bed is a regular occurrence for many, while outside it is raining bullets. Many many people have died when hit by stray bullets. Those that have families living in the countryside tell me about the problem they have accessing food and water. It is so, so sad.

As you know, I run a home for people with disabilities. I have 31 in my care. I am about to have 26 more. The house they lived in was attacked twice by armed gunmen so we are bringing them up to my care, as the home where they lived is in an area that is too dangerous. Imagine the kind of person that attacks a home for children with disabilities?

Some of the acts of violence are too horrific to write about. Seriously. Some totally horrific stuff happening.

In the midst of all this, we recently welcomed a small baby to our home. His mom died after giving birth to him and his twin. The twin later died and he ended up in our baby house, as he was very mal-nourished and his dad could not take care of him. He is one year old but more like a 4-5 month baby development-wise. As he needs physical therapy, we brought him to the house I share with the disabled – Kay Christine. He is a joy and everyone loves him. He is the center of attention and responding very well to all the love and care.

As I watch him grow and develop, I keep thinking, this is what we are about! We are here to try and make a difference – one person at a time. We have to deal with so much. Every day brings a story of pain and suffering. It would be very easy to despair. But with every day comes an opportunity to do something positive. We have to focus on all that we can do and then we have to knuckle down and keep doing it.

I am repairing 2 houses in order to welcome 26 more people with disabilities into our family. Just the thought of it has terrified me these past 2 months. I felt I already had more than enough on my plate But these kids need a loving home. We are good at what we do. We know how to take care of people. We will give them that home they deserve- safe from the bandits. We are busy training new staff. We have a lot to do. With your help we will get there.

Life is never about taking the easy road. It is about taking what you believe is the right road.

Thanks for your support. I don’t know where Haiti is going. I pray for peace here and peace in the world. Please be assured that we do need your help. No contribution is too small. Every help is a HUGE help. I know those of you reading this have worries and concerns of your own and a choice of charities that need your help. I will be most grateful for any help you send our way.

All the best,

Gangs, kidnaps, violence, hope

Reflections from Gena

Seeking Words

I sit before a blank screen and will and woo words, hoping they will suddenly form and leap out onto my fingers.

Not much leaping going on am afraid!

Feels more like they are being dragged out begrudgingly, reluctant to leave my muddled brain!

How to write without words?

I need words to give you an insight into life in Haiti these days.

I need words to convey the terror that has enveloped Haiti these past months.

Words to explain how ordinary men, women, and children, are dying daily – victims of gun battles between gangs.

Victims of horrific acts of violence.

Hundreds have died.

Hundreds have been shot.

Thousands more are cut off from basic supplies – caught up in the gang wars.

Violent gangs, that are heavily armed and show no mercy.

Lines of people having to flee their homes – to escape the gunfire.

Often it is in the middle of the night.

Quickly grabbing a few essentials and running for their lives.

Running to nowhere, as there is nowhere to go.

Maybe a local park, or a church, a cousin’s home – the new abode – for days, weeks, months…

Brave people – amongst them Father Rick and his team – risk their lives trying to get help to the wounded, trying to get help to those stuck inside the war zone.

Those that stay home  exist terrified.

I say exist because this is not living- it is holding on tight, and praying to God they do not break down your door and attack you and your loved ones. As happens all the time to many like you.

Praying the shooting stops so you can get out and buy some water and food.

Where are the words that can adequately explain the trauma of being kidnapped?

Held hostage for weeks.

Some beaten badly, some not,

Some shot in the process, some not.

Some killed resisting.

All traumatized.

Families – scraping and scrambling to pay huge ransoms – money they don’t have and will spend years and years trying to pay back.

Worrying and wondering will the loved one be ok.

Daily reports of kidnappings.

Friends kidnapped,

Colleagues kidnapped.

Children kidnapped.

Professionals kidnapped.

Pastors kidnapped.

Priests kidnapped.

Market sellers kidnapped.

Everyone worried- who will be next?

Major roads governed by gangs.

Not so major roads governed by gangs.

Travel on them if you dare.

Some have no choice so they desperately dare And dreadingly take the roads.

Some get shot in the process.

Many are robbed on the way.

Some make it safely.

Fear and stress cling to them each time.

Is this living?

Hospital beds lie empty.

Too dangerous for the sick to make the trip.

Don’t for one minute think they will get help elsewhere.

For most, these hospitals are their only hope for recovery.

Most therapy patients cannot come either.

No fun running from bullets with a disabled child in your arms.

Tis never fun running from bullets- sadly dodging bullets is now common practice for so many.

Everyday stories bring tears to the eyes, People crying on the radios, begging the bandits to release hostages, Begging the gang leaders to call a truce, to stop the killings.

Stories about relatives that never made it home and families desperate to find them.

Staff stories relating what is now their daily living.

Worried for themselves.

Worried for their children.

Worried for family in the countryside.

Where is Haiti going?

Should they leave?

So many have left already.

So many more are preparing to leave.

Start anew, illegal in a foreign land?

Stay and wonder when it will be you, your husband, or your kids that are taken?

Leave the car at home – they like to kidnap people that own cars.

What hope for a better Haiti?

Years of working hard and you can’t even live in your own home.

Refugees in your own country.

Fuel crisis after fuel crisis.

Massive hike in prices of everything.

Hunger visiting so many.

Everyone so resilient.

Determined to make a better life for their children.

Nobody giving up despite all the stresses.

Everyone pushing on, day after day, trying to make a living.

Daring to hope for better days to come.

Tis lunch time here in Kay Christine.

One by one the young adults arrive back from their activities.

They are healthy, happy and safe – far from the horrors in the city.

What a blessing!

If it was not for this home, and all that support it, where would they be now?

How many people with disabilities are caught up in the latest gang war?

How many children with disabilities are hungry right now?

In the midst of the darkness we must find ways to shine a light.

We must find ways to support all those struggling right now.

We give thanks for all our blessings and continue to pray for peace in Haiti and peace in the world.

My words are for Haiti but I am well aware that there are so many people suffering all over the world.

The Human Family needs peace.

We need to stop seeing people as different to us.

The powers that sell darkness, death and destruction want us to focus on our differences.

There is money to be made from investing in Hate.

Don’t give them that power.

Don’t be manipulated.

We are all basically the same – human, one family.

Let us each, in our own way, be instruments of peace.

‘So let’s strive for the things that bring peace, and the things that build each other up” Romans 14:19


Gena Heraty


Crafts workshop at Kay Christine

There are lots of challenges for the NPH Haiti team just to get through everyday activities, but there’s still time for fun.

Recently the residents set to work creating decorative picture frames.

Watch our short video to see how having a disability doesn’t stop people from producing amazing handicrafts.

This is the daily activity for the older residents at Kay Christine, and everyone there has become alert to opportunities to recycle materials into gifts, including for all the staff at Christmas. But the main idea is to be creative.

Everyone is involved. The video shows mainly our more able residents, but they also include the people in wheelchairs.

“The residents have learnt a lot of skills and they really love it. There’s a great atmosphere.”

Gena Heraty, Director Special Needs

The residents may be able to do a monthly sale in due course to raise some funds.

Older ones, daily activity, recycling for gifts, once a month sale, creative, they have learnt a lot of skills and they really love it.” A great atmosphere. Always finding new ideas and new ways. Everyone is saving recyclables.

Flor’s 8 months in Haiti

My name is Daniela ‘Flor’ Duran. I arrived in Haiti on 4 January January 2020. I had completed the Viatores Christi Venture training before leaving Argentina. I worked in Haiti for the last 8 months at the NPH Haiti Special Needs Programmes.

Flor with a patient and colleague
Flor (l) with a patient and colleague

My main goal on arriving in Haiti was to expand my professional knowledge by working in another culture. I also wanted to be able to help and train the people who work in the Special Needs programmes at the Kay St. Germaine School in Tabarre and at Kay Christine in Kenscoff. I was able to share my experience of working with children in Argentina and provide the support they needed during my stay in Haiti. The people who work in these programmes had were already very good with patients thanks to their training by Norma Lopez. That made it even more of a challenge to help the therapists continue to develop in their work with people with disabilities.

For me personally it was important to learn the language, and get to know the country’s traditions, beliefs and culture, which is all so different from Argentina. I think cultural exchange is very important to continue growing professionally and personally.

Flor with colleagues
Flor with colleagues

I have achieved some of my objectives. I adapted to the way of life and I began to learn the language. That allowed me to establish a bond with the therapists I worked with, so that we could exchange patient experiences and share knowledge. I still need to continue learning the language so that I can talk in more detail about working with people with disabilities.

Life in Haiti during this period of covid and social unrest is not easy. Many of the people who live here do not believe the disease exists, so there is a daily struggle to ensure that the necessary preventive measures are respected to avoid contagion. Haiti is a a country that does not have the medical resources to support people with covid.

The social unrest means that there are few possibilities to go out. I largely stayed in my place of work, which made it difficult to introduce variety into the daily routine. Sometimes it also meant I was lonely.

Flor with some of the residents
Flor with some of the residents

It could be frightening when work obliged me to leave the NPH location because of the great insecurity on the streets. When you live and work at Kay Christine, you feel accompanied. There is no shortage of hugs, laughter; you feel like family. People live in a state of constant alertness and stress, but still manage to retain their underlying joy.

This makes me appreciate daily life, always be grateful for what I have and value the little things in life. People never lose faith, and they pray and give thanks every day for what they have, for the people who help them.

I think it is important to highlight the importance of love, respect, values and humility, which are essential to carry out the challenges that arise every day. These 8 months living in Haiti have full of learning and an unforgettable personal and professional experience.

Thank you

Flor’s time in Haiti was made possible in part by support from one of NPH Ireland’s valued partners, Misean Cara, who provide mission support from Ireland around the world, including in Haiti.

Reflections on 2021

As a new year comes in, we are wise to take a look back on the year ending and somehow sum up 365 days of life and all that entails!

In the special needs programs, our biggest challenge during 2021 was the insecurity in Haiti. It is fair to say that we all worried and stressed through every day, and without doubt our greatest success was being able to survive the year!

Our Special Needs school and our rehab centre had to close for several periods during the year but we are still here and still doing a great job. Parents and patients are very happy with the services we provide, and the school children continue to learn in a safe and happy environment.

In Haiti, survival of a program is a huge success!


In terms of those living in Kay Christine- many of our family members are very fragile, and to get through a year with no death is a great achievement. Credit goes to our wonderful staff and the high level of care we provide. We also had a year where no one was hospitalized – another major achievement! Our family is ageing. Our challenges are increasing, as many that were previously among the stronger ones, now face adult health issues and this demands changes. We will get there!

We welcome 2022 and we pray for good health and strength to deal with whatever comes our way. We pray for peace in Haiti and in the world. We pray for a world where LOVE becomes the trend that takes over! Thank you for staying with us!

Gena Heraty


John Maughan