International Disability Charities Develop Kay Germaine: A Week Long Visit from Autism Ireland, The Watson Institute, and Spiritual Quotient

Disability groups from all around the world came to Kay Germaine this week to see how they could support Kay Germaine’s goal of providing top of the line care to some of the most marginalized and neglected groups in Haiti. The visitors included Kevin Whelan, from Irish Autism Action, Joe Mc Allistair from The Watson Institute in Pittsburg US and Derek O Neill from Spiritual Quotient in Ireland. Irish Autism Action, is an autism advocacy group in Ireland that serves as an umbrella organization with over 40 member. The Watson Institute helps children and youth with special needs including autism spectrum disorders, neurological impairments or serious emotional challenges by providing them with diagnostic, educational and therapeutic support; support to the families of these children through education, counseling, wraparound, outpatient services and respite programs; and training and technical support to educators, psychologists, therapists and others working in this field. Spiritual Quotient provides the means to bring shelter, clean water, food, medicine, clothing, education and more to people and animals in need around the world

During the visit, the group toured the 3 disability centers of NPFS: Kay Germaine on the Tabarre Campus, the Kay Christine home at St Helene in Kenscoff, and the new Kay Eliane in Kenscoff. The focus was on the 3 big needs of capacity building and staff and parent training for general care and specialty disciplines like speech, language, and art therapy, vocational workshops for young adolescents, and the expansion of adult services. The construction of Kay Gabriel, which will be located next to Kay Germaine and offer expanded disability services in Tabarre, was also discussed.

Explains Gena Heraty, the Director of Disability Services for NPFS: “Kevin, Joe and Derek are very committed to helping us in all our areas of need. They think it might be possible for us to twin with The Watson Institute and this would be fantastic as they have similar services as we do and they are more advanced but will be able to assist us get to where we want to go. On a practical level they also have workshops and recently built a new building and so they have some ideas as to how we should organize Kay Gabriel.”

Additionally, the Spiritual Quotient committed to an initial $80,000 to furnish Kay Gabriel, including a special swing for wheelchair kids and staff salaries for four staff members.  In a country where 800,000 people suffer from disabilities, the support of the Watson Institute, as well as Irish Autism Action, and Spiritual Quotient will continue to offer hope and a new world of possibilities to the disabled in Haiti.  

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