Our Thriving Students: January 2014

From January 19-25th 2014 Enabling Minds visited our students with developmental disabilities at the St. Charles Borromeo school in Croix-des-Bouquets. Tarik, Amanda, and Amir saw first-hand how well the children in our program were doing, most of whom were going to school for the very first time in their lives. Our team spoke with parents, administration and staff, and even the one of the local directors from the Food from the Poor orphanage where four of the students in our program live. From the stories we heard, the children’s lives have been transformed for the better: many have had a decrease in problematic behaviors and anxiety at home, and they are becoming more independent and self-confident in their personal lives. To our team the children seemed happy, relaxed, and to be very much enjoying the experience of going to school. Another significant finding was that the children accept and are being accepted by their schoolmates. Sister Gloria reports that they are excited to have this project and that these children have been a blessing to the St. Charles Borromeo School.

A Special Thank You: Jeff and Barbara Black

Enabling Minds would like to express a heartfelt thank you to Jeff and Barbara Black from Black Restaurant Group for their generous donation to Enabling Minds’ project in Haiti for children with developmental disabilities! Jeff and his wife Barbara came out to Enabling Minds’ fundraiser at the Camden Roosevelt in December 2013. Since we still had a lot of items remaining on our holiday wish list, Jeff and Barbara bought every single item that we needed off of our list, including scores of children’s books in French and Creole, toys for children with autism, children’s diapers, and over 70 lbs. of protein-rich powdered milk!

Jeff and his Barbara also do a lot of work to assist children who are disadvantaged. To learn more about Jeff and Barbara’s projects, please click here.

Sharing a Vision in Haiti

“Enabling Minds and the leadership at The St. Charles Borromeo School in Croix-des-Bouquets share a similar vision with the Special Olympics: by helping to include people with intellectual disabilities into the community, the entire country and world will benefit. In September 2013 the School in the Santo 19 section of Croix-des-Bouquets will begin a pilot class of 10 children with developmental disabilities, virtually all intellectual disabilities. Enabling Minds, a United States group that strives to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities in underserved regions, is working to assist the St. Charles Borromeo School in serving these children by providing financial and educational support. This project will allow children with disabilities in this community to attend school and be included with children without disabilities. Special Olympics Haiti will open a practice program in order to integrate these children to the world of sport, partnership, friendship, love and socialization.”

by Georges Bony, National Sport Director for Special Olympics Haiti. Originally published by Special Olympics International May 28, 2013.

Read The Original Article:


October 2013 Trip!

On October 1, 2013, Enabling Minds will visit the St. Charles Borromeo School in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti to help open the first class in the community for children with developmental disabilities! This class will begin with 10-12 students with developmental disabilities. Because of a lack of resources and the great stigma associated with disabilities in Haiti, children with developmental disabilities rarely are given opportunities to go to school and participate in community activities.


This will be a great opportunity for the Santo 19 section of Croix-des-Bouquets, as it will allow a special needs curriculum to be offered to children with intellectual disabilities, and will give these children an opportunity to experience the joy of being a part of a school environment.

Enabling Minds is hoping to improve the lives of these children and help eliminate some of the prevailing cultural stigmas associated with having a developmental disability.

Spring Fundraiser 2014!

Enabling Minds will be hosting a fundraiser this spring to celebrate the launch of our website and help fund the 2014-2015 class for children with intellectual disabilities at the St. Charles Borromeo School in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. Please stand by for more information about our fundraiser!

PRESS RELEASE: April 18, 2012

“Enabling Minds” to send first fact-finding delegation to Haiti

Philadelphia, PA, April 18, 2012 – “Enabling Minds,” a newly established group of enthusiasts whose mission is to improve the lives of the intellectually disabled in underserved countries by promoting tolerance and understanding, announced today their first mission trip to Haiti.

“Our goal is to seek sustainable solutions through medical, vocational, and emotional support, while enabling concerned volunteers and stakeholders to collaborate in empowering our targeted individuals”, said member Mary Wagner, an attorney from Philadelphia based law firm Marshall, Dennehey, Wagner, Coleman & Goggin. “In the US we strive to help these individuals by providing effective infra-structure and support. Unfortunately, in emerging countries these people fall outside the scope of most NGO’s. These circumstances leave an unfortunate shortfall that we hope to help rectify.”

Ms. Wagner will leave for Port au Prince on May 1st with Tarik Khan, a family nurse practitioner consultant who works exclusively with the IDD population in Washington DC with Liberty Healthcare, together with Marco Barbesta, a public relations professional from the Lehigh Valley area with over a decade of experience in humanitarian projects in Haiti. Their trip’s goals are centered on investigating what’s being currently done in Haiti to support individuals with IDD and ascertaining what effective actions “Enabling Minds” could take to enhance such support.

Contact information:
Marco Barbesta