HaitiChildren: Caring for Abandoned, Orphaned and Disabled Children in Haiti | Susie Krabacher
Elevate Christian Network | Global Humanitarians
0:19 hi welcome back. I’m Susie Krabacher, and I have some interesting things to 0:25 share with you today. I debated on how much i should say because it’s it’s a 0:35 difficult topic so I’ve been working in Haiti for 25 years and a lot of people 0:42 who have visited me in Haiti on our twenty acre campus have asked, why do you 0:47 have so many handicapped children? and you know I’m gonna be super straight 0:54 with you. I’m gonna tell you how I came to be the caregiver of so many 1:03 children in Haiti who have mental disabilities, physical disabilities. They 1:09 are challenged, but they are truly the light of my world. We have 63 children in 1:16 Haiti who are special-needs children let me start I want to preface this by 1:22 saying that in Haiti being a special needs person having a especially a 1:30 visible handicapped handicap is it’s a very it’s an interesting subject because 1:39 it’s a Karsen Haiti and Haiti is a very religious country and in the national 1:48 religion in voodoo the physical disability is considered a curse 1:55 something that was brought upon you by maybe something you did bad or something 2:03 that we might call karma so when a child is born handicapped the natural reaction 2:09 is to think that oh my gosh I’ve been cursed I’ve done something terrible or 2:15 somebody has done something terrible by putting a curse on me and I have odd I 2:23 mean it’s not it’s not so different than what we might think when something 2:27 happens to us we’re in a car accident we lose our best friend to cancer or we 2:36 lose our job what did I do to deserve this we have that same way of thinking 2:43 we must have done something wrong I mean at least some of us have that so I think 2:48 that a lot of children are and actually I know that a lot of children are 2:54 abandoned in Haiti because of defects and it’s oftentimes difficult to place 2:59 them in an orphanage a lot of the defects are in rural villages where 3:06 people don’t know that they could actually take care of that child then 3:11 that child could be a blessing we have a program on our campus where we actually 3:17 put women on donkeys with megaphones with t-shirts that have phone numbers on 3:23 the back if you have a child that’s disabled if you give birth to a child 3:27 that’s disabled call this number there is help for you there are ways 3:33 that you can be part of a community because oftentimes in these rural 3:37 villages the women who have these children are ostracized and I’ve 3:42 particularly seen that in the villages surrounding us we’re in an area of the 3:49 country where there’s actually a place which I will not name because a lot of 3:54 these women that were helping come from this village they’ve come to us through 3:58 our program or public service announcements via the donkeys and the 4:03 megaphones yes I’ve had a baby that’s that looks different or he he doesn’t 4:09 seem to be acting like a normal baby or you know I’ve had this child for five 4:14 years and my village won’t let me live inside the village because they think 4:19 that he’s a demon or the child is a curse they come to us and there’s a 4:23 place in this village where women literally know that they can go and 4:29 dispose of the child so we’ve been getting a lot of these women coming to 4:36 us we don’t want to do that we want to be part of our community our child is 4:40 not a curse we want to take care of our children we don’t want to abandon this 4:43 child to a government institution where the 4:46 child ends up at an orphanage like you are like Haiti children with just the 4:51 name of my my facility so we have prevented hundreds of children being 4:59 abandoned because of handicaps but there are many people who don’t feel they have 5:04 any resources so I’ve seen in 25 years so many times at hospitals throughout 5:15 Haiti in particular the government hospital where I worked for 14 years 5:21 women bringing their little bundle of blankets and rags and leaving that 5:29 little bundle of blankets and rags on the steps outside the hospital and then 5:35 of course when the mother leaves we had something that we called the abandoned 5:41 baby unit inside that hospital so all of those children would be immediately 5:47 picked up and taken to the abandoned baby unit and 50% of the time if not 5:52 more the child had a handicap but I knew because the mothers so often would come 6:02 back and I would see their fingers looking over the rim of the window into 6:08 the abandoned baby unit to check on their child to see that that child was 6:13 being loved and cared for and it broke my heart because I knew those women love 6:18 their child it’s just the it’s the trauma the not knowing what to do 6:27 perhaps sometimes the lack of education to know that there is a way and there’s 6:32 a roadmap of services outside of the Haiti government system one being ours 6:39 that if your child is handicapped you can get free therapy free physical 6:45 therapy we provide actually pediatric psychiatric care as well so that a lot 6:52 of times these children would therapy where they’re not walking 6:55 and maybe they’ve been atrophied for from you know few years in childhood of 7:00 not walking or moving or being cared for properly they are now walking and these 7:06 mothers are rejoicing together in a community that they have formed monks 7:12 themselves that they kept their children and their heroes there now heroes in 7:17 their villages it’s a long hard road it doesn’t always happen and there’s a lot 7:22 of stories that were ended tragically but the reason I feel that there are so 7:30 many handicapped children in Haiti is a lack of care in the rural villages lack 7:36 of prenatal care especially usually no medical attendants during birth of a 7:43 child so you might have you know the mom the mom is giving birth with the help of 7:48 maybe her 12 year old daughter and they don’t know how to do the delivery so we 7:55 really really really are focusing on education education education 7:59 I don’t believe kids are abandoned because they’re not loved I simply don’t 8:05 see that I see that there is a fear and that there is a cultural sort of enigma 8:13 for children that that have the handicaps not to be integrated into 8:19 society so we would love to hear your thoughts about maybe you know some of 8:26 you may have handicapped children with that you’ve dealt with something not 8:30 that tragic and not that it feels very dark but I’d love to hear any of your 8:39 thoughts about how you’ve integrated special needs children or thoughts even 8:46 if you don’t have a special needs child how you think integrating the ideas into 8:52 a community that we’re all the same that we’re all precious and that we all 8:56 deserve a chance thank you so much please visit my website it’s 9:01 HaitiChildren.org 9:13
- In this video, Humanitarian Susie Krabacher talks about the beautiful special needs children that are part of her orphanage in Haiti. Learn more about the children in Haiti, and how Susie Krabacher is caring for special needs and handicapped children in Haiti.
About HaitiChildren Humanitarian Organization
Since 1994, Susie Krabacher has provided care and education to abandoned, orphaned and disabled children in Haiti through her organization, HaitiChildren (formerly known as Mercy & Sharing). Currently, they have grown to care for more than 1,500 people daily in their programs.
They are involved in humanitarian and outreach projects for the poorest of the poor. HaitiChildren’s projects are all located in Haiti, home to more than 11 million people with 80% of the population living in poverty and 54% living in abject poverty.
Their relief and development programs are funded completely by foundations/trusts, individuals, churches and small businesses.
About Susie Krabacher
Susie Krabacher is a loving humanitarian whose work is dedicated to saving, feeding, and educating the poorest of the poor in Haiti. She has been featured in numerous major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Marie Claire, the LA Times, the Miami Herald, the New York Times and more.
Susie’s work has also been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox TV, CNN and C-SPAN. When Susie is not in Haiti, she continue her work from her home in Colorado.
She is happily married to B. Joseph Krabacher, an attorney with a thriving law practice in Aspen, Colorado. He a blessed business person that also develops real estate in Colorado and Arizona. Joe is Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer for HaitiChildren.
- For the latest updates, news and information, visit them online at: https://haitichildren.org
HaitiChildren Humanitarian Relief Channel | Susie Krabacher