Promise Harbor Family Center
Guiding families of vulnerable children by providing the building blocks to becoming an empowered family unit in an effort to lessen the reliance on the institution of orphanages. We focus on 3 Core Areas:
There are little to no resources in our area for daytime care options for special needs kids that are too young or whose needs are too severe to attend school. In Haiti, there are many single parent households. When a single parent has a special needs child, they are required to stay at home with them during the day because their neighbors and extended family will not care for them in their absence. There is no shortage of stigma and superstition surrounding handicaps, so oftentimes these children are mistreated and neglected by the surrounding community. This becomes especially difficult for a parent who has multiple children. They have no way of holding a job to provide for their family while also giving 24/7 care to their child with special needs. Promise Harbor seeks to bridge that gap. We provide daytime care for the special needs child so that the parent can go to work each day to put food on the table and send the other children to school. While in our care, the child receives specialized therapy and developmental stimulation appropriate to his/her needs from our Haitian staff who have been properly trained. The parent is able to leave for work each morning knowing that their child will be well taken care of, and they will be able to rejoice in the improvements and successes of each child’s development along the way. This alleviates the burden of hopelessness that the parents feel that often leads to the special needs child being put in an orphanage. While requiring the parent or family member to drop off and pick up the child each day, we have the unique opportunity to provide daily spiritual encouragement for the parents so that they can return home each day knowing that God has already given the strength they need to provide the best life for their child.
Some of our children come from outpatient malnutrition treatment programs. We are able to continue their care on a daily basis by ensuring the appropriate amount of the medical peanut butter is administered correctly. We also evaluate each child for unique feeding issues and adapt our feeding techniques to their needs. The children receive two nutritious meals each day (if they are not already on the medical peanut butter regimen), as well as two smaller snacks. These meals are tailored to their need of calorie-dense foods to gain and maintain weight. This takes some of the pressure off of the parents when they are unable to provide the more expensive calorie-dense diet that special needs children require to thrive.
Parent Support Group:
As anyone can imagine, having a child with special needs, especially in a country and culture like Haiti, is extremely difficult. Oftentimes these children are a constant subject of concern for their parents. They worry if they will ever be able to sit up, to walk, to talk, to go to school, to live past the age of 3, or to grow up to lead a successful life in their country of birth. Most parents do not have anyone to sit them down and tell them that it will all be okay, and that God has chosen them and their child to be a greater part of His story in the lives of their community. We hold a weekly support groups for the parents and family members of the children who attend our daycare. We allow them a safe space to share their struggles and triumphs with other parents and individuals who “get it.” Sometimes it is not enough for us to encourage them to keep pressing on, but when they hear the same message from their fellow neighbors and community members, it awakens a strength inside of them that could otherwise dwindled away.