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She was born on July 9th, 2015. We met Clary with her Mom in May. Her Mom at the time was on a mission. First to find a job and second to get medical assistance for Clary’s disability.
Right before her Mom approached us, we had just been contacted by someone looking for a cook to work for them. We were so excited about the coincidence, we called Clary's Mom right away and told her about the job opening. Then Clary’s story starts to unfold: Clary’s Mom started by explaining that she could not take the job because Clary had no one to watch after her since her grandmother had recently passed away. We immediately offered to care for Clary while she was at work; just like a daycare. Thinking that this woman was going to be jumping for joy of this miracle. On our side, we thought that was the perfect solution, a done deal. Unfortunately, we waited, waited… for Clary and her Mom to arrive at our facility nothing happened. We were so disappointed and most of all worried about Clary and her Mom because we knew already their living situation and condition. So we started an investigation that leads us to this story:
Days later we found out the Mom was being teased by her neighbors about Clary's disability and she attempted to end Clary's life. We were also informed that she no longer wanted the job and only wanted to get rid of her child. Our heart broke into pieces, we then asked her not to harm the baby and to leave Clary permanently with us instead. We invited her to visit anytime she wanted. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen her since.
As per Clary’s orthopedic she was born with femoral agenesis. My words are the only proof of her disability. If you ever meet Clary, you would be surprised by her determination and spirit. Nothing about her screams I am disabled. She is an independent toddler full of life. Her smile can turn any frown into a smile. And despite her disability, she moves faster on her knees than some of our toddlers do on their two feet. Clary is an intelligent and lovable princess. She has that million dollars smile that brightens up any sad day.
Clary coming to our home has made us aware of a problem in our community. Two things have changed since we welcomed her. Our home will also now accept abandoned children with physical disabilities aged 3 and younger. We will work with medical teams and organizations to provide the necessary care for those children with disabilities.
The sad part of this story that breaks our heart is when we were school hunting for our toddlers including Princess Clary. All schools were willing to accept all the “normal children” except Clary because of her disability.
So we went home sad and defeated. But, we did not give up. We decided to ask for guidance in prayers to our Father the All-Mighty. And the perfect solution came to light with the new facility that provides us with an extra room and a playground for an at-home Pre-Kindergarten school. Now we welcome, at the House of Hope a brand new challenging chapter. Where we believe we can provide the best education and environment for all our toddlers already living with us including Clary. And also most especially for all other Clary’s age 3 and younger with special needs that have been turned down by all other schools in our area because there is no place for them in their society.
Change needs to be made so we can make sure children with disabilities are able to attend school. We are blessed to have a platform that can assist homeschool for Clary at House of Hope, but what about the many that are in similar situations living in our area and as well as other parts of Haiti? They need a Voice! Anyone, whether it’s a child or an adult with a disability in Haiti, is treated like a second-class citizen. This causes a dependency problem because disabled children do not get the opportunity to receive a proper education making them doomed to live in a cycle of poverty their entire lives.
After careful thought, we are now looking into how we can be a solution to the special needs community in our area. Since Clary and all our toddlers will be homeschooled. We will create a rich pre-kindergarten curriculum filled with critical thinking and STEM learning during this year. So next year we will then be ready to open our doors to other children who are disabled as well.
Clary will be our first student but certainly not our last. We have to work together to allow children with disabilities to receive the basic education they need to succeed.