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First Lady Martine Moïse pays a courtesy visit to the Haitian Society for Aid to the Blind.

Mrs. Martine Moïse took the first step towards people suffering from blindness or visual impairment in the country. For the first time in its 67 years of existence, the Haitian Society for the Blind (SHAA) located in Delmas 31, received, on Thursday, August 20, 2020, a courtesy visit from the First Lady of the Republic.

Thursday, August 20, 2020, was a moment filled with joy and emotion that were felt on the premises of the Society for the Assistance of the Blind (SHAA), due to the courtesy visit of First Lady Martine Moïse to the institution. Upon her arrival, Mrs. Moïse was greeted warmly by Dr. Michel Péan, Director General of the SHAA, the managers, the employees and some patients of the institution. . 

During the discussions, the First Lady explained her duty as a citizen and at the same time, as the mother of all Haitians, to care for the well-being of her children, brothers,  sisters  and in particular, those with disabilities. Her presence at the SHAA on this day allowed her to learn about the way the institution operates and the difficulties it faces on a daily basis in order to bring support throughout the country despite the constraints.

The First Lady started by highlighting the efforts made by the Administration of her husband, President Jovenel Moïse, to promote an inclusive public administration so that everyone can play their role in the advancement of the country. “I would like to emphasize the fact that the government of my husband, President Jovenel Moïse,  is constantly working for the integration of people  with disabilities into public administration . Moreover, on August 10, four young people with disabilities obtained their letters of appointment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship after being recruited to join the public administration following the competition organized by the Office of Management and Human Resources (OMRH).  49 young people were selected to work in various state entities. This proves that the professional integration of people with disabilities is possible and the government wants to continue to do so.”

Mrs. Moïse also pointed out that this first visit will not be the last as she intends to encourage the institution, in her own way, so that it can continue its mission to help the blind and visually impaired to receive adequate treatment in order to develop their potentials, talents and abilities. This will help them find opportunities, which will allow them to flourish, to integrate various decision-making spheres, to fulfil their civic duty and make their contribution to the sustainable development of the country.

With emotion, Dr. Péan, expressed himself in this way: "Receiving the First Lady at the SHAA makes many feelings spring up in me that I could not describe in one day. I would like to express my satisfaction and appreciation towards the First Lady, Martine Moïse, who came to meet with the members of  (SHAA), pioneer in the field of assistance to the blind. Created by Dr. Louis Baron and Mr. Jean A Sorel, on February 23, 1953, the SHAA's mission is to prevent blindness and contribute to the improvement of the lives of visually impaired people across the country. It has branches in 8 departments of the country and has 5,000 members including 3,000 in the West department.”

However, Dr. Péan said he hoped that the SHAA could benefit from financial support in order to be able to welcome more members, open offices in the two other departments and plead for the integration of more disabled people in the public administration. 

The First Lady went on a  guided tour of different sections of SHAA: the Specialized Library where a Braille reading session was held; the medical examination room; the eyewear shop; the audio book recording studio; the section for the production of adapted books in Braille and the IT section. 

Sanitary kits were distributed and several patients who received, recognize the good heart and the sense of sharing of the First Lady. She wants to  participate in changing the treatment of the disabled in Haiti. A step has been taken, a door is now open for the blind and visually impaired in the country.

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