Last year, we introduced you to the Haiti Deaf Academy, which began nearly a decade ago to provide hearing impaired children with access to Haitian sign language and holistic, Gospel-centered care.
Today, we have this exciting update for you—
Haiti Deaf Academy is now open on Lifesong campus!
In addition to many challenges already facing Haiti, the community of deaf people in rural Haiti faces even more extreme hurdles for survival.
Specifically, deaf children often face brutal discrimination because of cultural beliefs and superstitions about why they don’t hear or speak. As a result, very few receive the gifts of language and communication necessary for life and survival in a country that is large unsympathetic to the marginalized.
Many deaf children are given away or traded as house help.
And without the ability to communicate, hearing impaired children are totally unaware of the Gospel.
Like you, we believe each of these children matters deeply to their Creator God. And likewise, they should matter deeply to us.
So when the need was brought to our attention …
that Haiti Deaf Academy needed a bigger, safer place to build homes for their students, we knew what we needed to do.
This past year, we began the process of building 4 family-style cottages and welcoming 48 deaf and hard-of-hearing students and 18 deaf staff onto our Lifesong campus in Bercy, Haiti.
Many generous givers, including Tim Tebow Foundation, helped make these homes a reality.
Because these precious kids now have a safe place to live, sleep, and play, they are thriving!
Here’s a quick video message from the kids:
Here’s a quick before/after of the Haiti Deaf Academy site:
During the day,
the students attend sign language classes and learn important life skills that will now give them the same chance in their community that their hearing peers have.
In addition to their formal education, they’ve recently learned how to prepare simple meals for themselves, how to braid hair, and how to bake a birthday cake for fellow students using the new ovens! They’re learning how to concentrate, how to follow instructions, and how to work together as a group.
All of these skills will help set them up for success in the hearing world.
But having Haiti Deaf Academy on campus has been …
a joy for our Lifesong School students and staff as well.
Currently, our 198 students range from 7th to 13th grade. Our prayer continues to be that Lifesong School will raise up strong, Christian leaders who want to impact this community and the world for Jesus Christ.
So, in an effort to build a culture of Christlike inclusion, the hearing students on campus recently welcomed the deaf and hard-of-hearing students to chapel so the hearing students could learn some sign language.
In the words of our teammates, “The acceptance was a beautiful sight.”
Also in the words of Haiti Deaf Academy staff,
Hallelujah! Students and staff are so grateful for this new campus… Two words: Answered prayers. The new cottages are open and full of life!
Thank you for helping transform the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing children in Haiti!
You are an important part of this story.