Meh in class, writing on the board

Finding Her Place: A girl in Haiti discovers belonging

Born with Down Syndrome in Haiti

The youngest of five children, 14-year-old Meh was born with Down syndrome in Haiti. Despite her condition, Meh began school at the age of five. Sadly, though, she struggled to find the special needs support to help her succeed. Her parents tried sending her to three different schools, but each time Meh’s special needs were not cared for. At one school, a particularly mean teacher would beat poor Meh, leaving her with bruises on her arms and legs.

Special Needs Support

Violent protests and civil unrest further complicated Meh’s education and her parents didn’t know where to turn next. Then they discovered the National Academy of Excellence (NAE), a Cross International partner in their area. Officially opening in 2016, NAE is a school that provides primary education for children living on campus as well as kids, like Meh, who live nearby. Thankfully for Meh, NAE even provides for children with special needs in Haiti, ensuring that they too get the opportunity to learn in a positive and healthy environment.

Meh at NAE cutting papers with her friends
Meh cutting papers with her friends at NAE

Education for Special Needs Children

For Meh and her family, the National Academy of Excellence has been an answer to prayer. Meh has finally found the place where she feels like she belongs. Since she began attending NAE, Meh has shown remarkable improvement in her fine motor skills, spelling, and vocabulary. At the NAE’s annual Christmas show, Meh even performed a song during the school play!

Meh singing at NAE's Christmas Celebration
Meh singing at NAE's Christmas Celebration
Meh smiling while eating her lunch at NAE
Meh singing at NAE's Christmas Celebration

In the short time she’s been at NAE, Meh has made remarkable progress and she says how much she loves going to school and how proud she is to be an NAE student!

Programs like NAE are so important for special needs children in Haiti, like Meh, who have nowhere else to turn. Thank you for helping this precious young lady, and so many other children, get the priceless gifts of loving care and a quality education.

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