ISPRM provided a 3,500 USD emergency financial assistance donation to Saint Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children (SVC) in, Port-au-Prince Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew (October 2016) to fund urgently needed facility repairs and orthopedic supplies to operate its pediatrics brace shop. The essential supplies funded about two months of brace production, resulting in a higher level of service provision after the hurricane than otherwise possible given the many disaster-related operational constraints. With its roof and window repairs, the medical clinic and brace shop now operates at full capacity in providing medical and rehabilitation services to SVC’s 35-50/day disabled clients.
SVC is among the oldest and most established physical rehabilitation service organizations in Haiti. SVC offers a variety of medical services to its students and the surrounding community, including: pediatrics, orthopedics, and physical therapy, as well as testing and treatment for those with hearing and/ or vision-related conditions. Prosthetic services are provided by a brace shop located on the Centre grounds (http://stvincentshaiti.org/about-saint-vincent/).
The grant supports ISPRM’s policy on sudden-onset natural disaster which endorses funding of ISPRM National Society disaster-related projects (https://www.isprm.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ISPRM-Policy-statement-Response-to-a-sudden-onset-natural-disaster-Aug-2016.pdf). As Haiti has no ISPRM National Society, DRC endorsed committee member Colleen O’Connell’s (Canada) recommendation for financial assistance on SVC’s behalf following Hurricane Matthew. Dr. O’Connell’s NGO Team Canada Healing Hands (TCHH) (http://www.tchh.org/index.html) is a SVC partner organization’ and has supported SVC since 2003 in a variety of projects to build capacity for children with disability, particularly hearing and speech impairment (http://stvincentshaiti.org/about-saint-vincent/partners/). TCHH also provides on-site teaching and training in prosthetics and orthotics and rehabilitation therapies several times a year.
The emergency relief grant was administered by the ISPRM Disaster Rehabilitation Committee on behalf of the Society and considers itself fortunate to assist Saint Vincent’s Centre in restoring its operational capacity and providing rehabilitation services for its young beneficiaries despite the impact of Hurricane Matthew.