On the first Saturday of March 2016, many of Enabling Minds’ students joined in the Medical Missions of Haiti’s 5th Annual Clinic Community Run. Social stigmas are one of the major challenges faced by persons in Haiti with developmental disabilities, and these beliefs unfortunately end up keeping these individuals hidden by their families and ignored by society. There are also perceptions that these individuals are incapable of achieving anything, and as a result they are excluded from schools, the workforce, and events in the community.
On this bright sunny Saturday morning, our students lined up with their big brothers and big sisters and the rest of the community in anticipation for the start of the race. Many of our students had been looking forward to this event for weeks, and were eager to participate in the run with their adopted big siblings!
They didn’t know many of the other people at the race, and many in the community had never seen a person with a wheelchair or with any disability joining in a race. But together they stood, with their running shoes and registration bibs tied, lined up and set for the race that lie ahead.
Erin Cottos, physical therapist, and long-time volunteer organizer of the Clinic Community Run observed, “We had over 200 participants in multiple races.”
“It brought my heart joy to see the smiles on these faces as they ran/walked through the streets,” Erin added.
Our students ran valiantly through the grassy plain of the start, through the dusty streets, and back around through the farmland on the seminary grounds.
Their big buddies ran hand-in-hand with them, so that they could accomplish their goal of completing the race with each other.
They crossed the finish line together, many with broad smiles and laughter.
Some were still breathless as they received their certificates, and they joined their fellow residents of the city of Croix-des-Bouquets as they basked in the glow of achievement.
Thank you to Erin Cottos, Dr. Dorsaint, Sister Gloria, Medical Missions of Haiti, our donors, and everyone who made these moments possible for our students!
How You Can Help
Enabling Minds’ students with developmental disabilities at St. Charles Borromeo School are completely funded through donations. A donation of $25 will sponsor a student’s education for one month (including dance and Special Olympics activities, school breakfast and lunch), and $300 will sponsor a student in school for the entire year. We still have a few students who need to be funded so they can complete the school year! All donations are 100% tax deductible and any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us give the gift of an education to a student in need!
Kindly visit: www.enablingminds.com/
Enabling Minds Tax ID: 46-5226427