After the earthquake destroyed the pediatric ward they had been living in at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, dozens of abandoned and physically and developmentally disabled children needed a new home. Partners In Health and the charity Operation Blessing decided to help.
The two organizations opened a facility named Zanmi Beni--“blessed friends” in Haitian Creole--to care for the 48 children, who ranged in age from infants to 21 years old.
To commemorate the annivesary of the earthquake, the children took part in a tree planting ceremony on the morning of January 12. "The event was wonderful, most of the children were able to help dig holes, plant trees and water them too," reported Operation Blessing's David Darg. "It was a symbol of a remarkable year of recovery for these kids."
View photos from the ceremony on the player below.
"One child in particular really moved me," said Darg. "Ti Joe was pulled from the rubble one year ago today, he was fortunate to survive but his parents were killed. Today he is as happy as a child can be, always smiling and bubbling with youthful joy."
"All of the children have progressed in some way, many of them have completely transformed to where they can walk where before they were immobile," said Darg. "At one of the trees a staff member said a prayer that was beautiful, she prayed that the tree would grow to be strong like the children of Zanmi Beni."
Photos courtesy of David Darg, Operation Blessing International