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Canadian Association Step by Step News

Trivia Night Thanks, Proceeds Used

February 2020

Canadian Association Step by Step used proceeds from Trivia Night 2019 to provide food for 42 families during the recent political unrest that made it challenging for them to have access to food. Thanks to all who came out and supported us!!!

Trivia Night Success

January 2020

Thanks to all who came out to Trivia night in October. We are happy to report that the proceeds contributed to the purchase of food for families who were hardest hit during Haiti’s recent period of civil and political unrest. Months of demonstrations, fuel and food shortages, prolonged school closures, rising inflation and resulting inability to get to employment (or even have businesses operate or open), have created dire conditions for families. $3000 was used to provide a month’s worth food for 42 families to help them ‘weather the storm’. We are cautiously optimistic that conditions may improve and note that schools finally reopened just before Christmas.

Trivia Night 2018

Friday October 12, 2018
St. Antoine’s Hall
4570 Portage Road, Niagara Falls    Map
Doors: 6:30 p.m./Game: 7:00 p.m.

CASS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care and educational opportunities for disabled children and their families in Jacmel, Haiti. PAZAPA is a school in Jacmel, Haiti that offers hope and a future for children with disabilities. The word ‘pazapa’ is Creole for ‘step by step’. We’re building on the successes of our last two years’ trivia events. In 2016, we raised funds to purchase two motorcycles to support outreach services. In 2017, we purchased accessible playground equipment for the centre. In 2018, proceeds will go to further accessibility improvements at the centre to support the health and education of PAZAPA’s students.

Form your team of 8 or join a table. Pizza & snacks with ticket. Pop or water $1.00. Cash bar. Get your ticket by emailing the address below or pay $20 per person at the door. Winning table receives $160.

For tickets, contact CASS by email:

CASS Trivia Night 2018 Flier

Playground Equipment

April 2018

The playground equipment is installed and it is wonderful! Thank you to all of our donors for making this possible.

Trivia Night

Mark you calendars for Canadian Association Step by Step's Annual Trivia Night on Friday October 20, 2017 6:30pm to be held at St. Antoine's Hall 4570 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario. This year, we are looking to raise $5000 to assist Pazapa to construct a purpose-built playground for the centre's children. We have a wonderful opportunity, to support Pazapa's grant application to the Canadian Embassy's "Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives". We hope you can join us. Form your team of 8 or join a table and make new friends. To reserve your table contract us by email at

Help Pazapa Kids Play Trivia Night Flier

Trip To Haiti

March 2017

In March 2017 three members, at their own expense, traveled to Haiti to arrange for the purchase of two motorcycles to support Pazapa's outreach and home visiting programs. The trip was a tremendous success, not only being able purchase the two motorcycles on this visit (and ensure that they had two helmets to go with them!), board members were also able to conduct several site visits both at the centre and to two outreach communities. It was a pleasure to see the great work of the centre staff, watch children benefit from purpose-built facilities. witness the invaluable efforts of the outreach team and the community appreciation for them. Board members were also able to review with Pazapa leadership current and future needs for the centre, and consider ways that CASS can assist directly or in partnership with others.

Funds raised and used, but more funds are needed

December, 2016

CASS has had a busy fall season. Our October 14 trivia night was a resounding success and raised $3,589.00 (net), with 16 tables (most with 8 occupants each) participating. We sent $2,000 (US) to Pazapa, which used the funds to purchase:

  • 2,186 banana trees (at 25 gourdes a tree) at a total of $54,650Gdes
  • 28 Goats (at 2500 gourdes per goat) at a total of $70,000Gdes
  • At the current rate of exchange, 66Gdes equals $1US. The remaining funds from our donation were used to cover the transportation costs to deliver these items to the selected families.

Now that the 2016 holiday season is upon us, we’re focusing this year’s campaign on raising even more funds to help disabled children and their families impacted by Hurricane Matthew. These families are living in the poorest country in the western hemisphere and struggling to subsist on what little sources of food they have left. Pazapa students and their families have immediate needs for sources of food that must be met for this vulnerable population to survive. That’s why we’re directing any donations received until January 31,2017 to hurricane relief, unless otherwise specified.

Whether you decide to help a family replenish their livestock or banana tree plants, or support general outreach efforts, you’re taking action to help this community get back on its feet after this tragic event, and your support is gratefully appreciated.

Starting in February, we’ll again raise funds to purchase a motorcycle to help staff visit children in rural areas. To reach the children’s homes, a motorcycle is required to navigate the rough terrain and dirt paths. During outreach activities, they provide assessments, medications, learning tools and family support. In March, a team from CASS will travel to Haiti to observe progress on the ground and identify ongoing needs.

Please support this essential effort to help PAZAPA families recover and rebuild their lives.

Donate Now Through!

With your gift, you will help families recover and rebuild their lives after Hurricane Matthew. All funds directly support the needs of children and their families. A family’s future depends on you!

Rehabilitation Equipment has Arrived

October, 2016

We are pleased to confirm that the purchased rehabilitation equipment has finally arrived at Pazapa. Funds received at last year’s Trivia Night event supported this important purchase. We also want to thank our Siloe friends in the United States for covering shipping costs, as this equipment had to be transported by boat and then truck to finally arrive at the centre late last week. We look forward to seeing this new equipment used to support the rehabilitation of the centre’s children and will bring more news of its use after the next planned team visit in March 2017.


Friday October 14, 2016 6:30 PM

St. Antoine’s Hall 4570 Portage Road, Niagara Falls Ontario map
Form your team of 8 or join a table and make new friends! For tickets contact by email:

Donate now to get the wheels rolling and help Pazapa buy a motorcycle

May, 2016

The children of PAZAPA need your help. Because their disabilities often prevent them from getting to school, outreach workers spend hours every day travelling to students’ homes deep in the mountains of Jacmel, Haiti to deliver lifesaving medicine and supplies. The workers must navigate rough, unforgiving and punishing terrain by motorcycle with their precious cargo.

As need increases and their existing vehicles age, these children need our support. Canadian Association Step by Step is raising $5,000 US to purchase a new, much-needed motorcycle so medicine and supplies get to the children who need them. You can help by making a donation today.


Helping Children with Special Needs in Haiti since 1987

Pazapa receives donation of sewing machines from Haitian Timoun Foundation

Pazapa Director Marika MacRae with Erin Murphy from Haitian Timoun Foundation.

In February of this year, Pazapa was thrilled to receive four sewing machines from our long time partners at the Haitian Timoun Foundation (HTF). Pastor Erin Fisher led the effort to bring the machines straight down to the center in Jacmel, which was no easy task.

We realize that if students want to build on their success at school, they eventually need to learn a trade. We have begun tailoring classes where Islande Antoine teaches recent deaf school graduates and some family members how to make dresses, blouses and shirts.

We are also seeking funding to relaunch a cooking school for senior students. Such programs are essential to help with the transition into society and keep our graduates and their families out of poverty.

Hearing Hearts NGO provides housing for Pazapa deaf students

Angie Reyes and Laloi Andrecene with the deaf students they house.

When Pazapa connects to deaf children in the countryside, they are welcome to begin classes at our center in Jacmel. Without relatives in the area, however, many families can not afford the cost of boarding their child in town. Fortunately for Pazapa, American volunteer Angie Reyes has taken it upon herself to provide room and board for these kids from outlying areas who would not otherwise have a chance to go to school or even begin to learn sign language. Angie’s NGO Hearing Hearts cares for 9 deaf students in a house she built near the Pazapa campus. Previously disconnected to the world and their own families, these children now live in a supportive and loving deaf community where their studies and communication skills thrive.

Medical Professionals continue to provide essential care to Pazapa families

Pazapa’s Tony Antoine (Left) along with Dr. Kevin Latz, Dr. Fred McGlynn and Dr. Brian Deingan join a mother and son who just came out of corrective tibial surgery performed in February. Pazapa was also fortuntate to have Neurologist Dr. Chris Miller come participate in Pazapa's free clinic treating seizures.


Connect to Pazapa Online
Visit us online at for more information on our programs, staff and facilities.
If you have a Facebook account, please follow and like Pazapa for updates and information about our activities. Check out today. You can help us grow our social media presence and attract more supporters!

Amazon Smile
If you use Amazon please sign up for Amazon Smile, a simple way for you to support Pazapa every time you shop, at no cost to you. Go to and search for “Pazapa” to make donations to Pazapa through the Siloe Project. Purchase of any one of millions of eligible products will trigger the Amazon Smile Foundation to donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Pazapa.

Monthly Giving
Make automatic monthly gifts online through PayPal. Go to, click on the "Donate Monthly" button at the top of the page, and follow the prompts. A monthly gift is a wonderful way to help Pazapa in a consistent way with very little inconvenience to you.

Copyright © 2016 Pazapa, All rights reserved.

Successful Fundraising

May, 2016

Canadian Association Step by Step has now had two very successful annual trivia nights first contributing to a power supply strategy for the new buildings in 2014 and then rehabilitation equipment in 2015. This last donation, valued at approx $5,000 was arranged in collaboration with our American Friends (Siloe Project) and will be tremendously helpful to the physiotherapy and rehabilitation efforts for Pazapa's students. This year, Canadian Association Step by Step is raising funds for a motorcycle to bring outreach and treatment staff to the mountain communities surrounding Jacmel.

Canadian Step by Step Visits Pazapa, Haiti’s School for Children with Special Needs

March, 2014

Board members bring school supplies, funds to delighted students

Haiti’s students with special needs are closer to being back in a permanent classroom, thanks in part to generous donors of Canadian Step by Step.

Five board members of the Niagara-based registered charity traveled to Jacmel, Haiti earlier this year, where they visited staff and students of Pazapa, a special education and rehabilitation centre for children with disabilities. The centre provides education, treatment and rehabilitation that support the inclusion and integration of Jacmel's children with disabilities in their community.

The trip “was an extraordinary opportunity for members of the group to go and see the progress that is happening at the centre and in Haiti. The school staff and kids were wonderful hosts,” said Adrienne Jugley, treasurer and board member of Canadian Step by Step.

The board members came bearing gifts of school supplies, toys and games for delighted children, who have spent three years in temporary shelters since their school was destroyed in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked the area in January 2010. Canadian Step by Step hosts events that raise funds for the rebuilding and ongoing maintenance of Pazapa’s new school, which the visiting board members saw first-hand on their trip and will continue to closely monitor.

The rebuild is expected to cost $1.3 million in total and the first phase of construction is expected to be complete by late spring. The remaining buildings will be constructed by the end of 2014. The school is expected to serve between 200 and 300 students.

In Creole, 'Pazapa' means 'step by step'. The phrase truly epitomizes the story of the school's revitalization as the international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and Canadian Association Step by Step (the Niagara-based association that raises funds for the school) focus on rebuilding what was lost - not just a building, but a facility that provides critical education and treatment for these often forgotten children.

Students face social stigma, personal challenges, poverty

Along with meeting the personal challenges that accompany disability and the lack of accessible buildings, these children are subjected to social stigma as a result of their conditions, which include developmental disabilities, such as the developmental disorder Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, deafness, orthopedic problems (club feet) and neurological issues (seizures).

Established more than 25 years ago, Pazapa is the only organization in southeastern Haiti (which has a population of about 1 million people) offering these social services to children with disabilities.

Canadian Association Step by Step’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities and their families in Haiti. Every dollar donated helps children and their families access education and healthcare.

How to help

The goal is to get the centre back up and running so the students can have a safe, functional learning environment, said Mark Jugley. “We want them to be respected and involved members of their community,” he said. Though many return to regular educational institutions, others will need long term support and care.

C.A.S.S. expects to hold fundraising events throughout 2014, and will be actively seeking donations from individuals, corporations and organizations.

The association is accepting donations from individuals, community members and organizations. Volunteers are also needed. For more information, please contact C.A.S.S. at today. To read updates regarding Pazapa’s construction, visit the website at

See more photos in the Pictures section.

Progress made on the Pazapa project

September, 2013

Phase I school construction (the part that Plan is financially supporting) is about 60-65% done. They hope that by November, it should be 100% complete. The delay is due to a topography problem and the soil, combined with the rainy season. They are also making some minor changes to the design to ensure the building adheres to international accessibility standards for children with disabilities, which would likely cause a bit more time, but they are hopeful that we can still finish by end date planned.

See more progress photos in the Pictures section.

C.A.S.S. raising funds for Haiti’s ‘forgotten children’

June, 2013

The disabled children of Jacmel, Haiti have been dubbed 'the forgotten children'. They are among the country's most vulnerable populations left devastated by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked the area in January 2010 and destroyed the original Pazapa school for disabled children in Jacmel. The centre for disabled children provides education, treatment and rehabilitation that focus to support the inclusion and integration of Jacmel's disabled children in their community.

Foundations dug on new $1.2-million Pazapa school

Efforts to rebuild the school at a projected total cost estimate of $1.2 million are in full swing, as the foundations for the new building have only recently been painstakingly dug and poured by hand. Plan International and Christian Blind Mission have partnered to support the first two phases of reconstruction to be completed by September 2013. The first phase includes the construction of two rehab rooms, three classrooms and nursing and sanitation rooms. The second phase will see one classroom, administration and teachers' rooms, family and multimedia areas built. The third phase is currently unfunded and will include a cafeteria, kitchen, storage area and guard's house. This phase is projected to cost roughly $295,000, with the Pazapa-USA board putting up an initial sum of $50,000. The rest of the funds must be raised through donations. Between 250 and 300 students will be integrated into the new purpose-built facility, located near the Jacmel airport.

In Creole, 'Pazapa' means 'step by step'. The phrase truly epitomizes the story of the school's revitalization as the international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and Canadian Association Step by Step (C.A.S.S., the Niagara-based association that raises funds for the school) focus on rebuilding what was lost - not just a building, but a facility that provides critical education and treatment for these often forgotten children. Mark Jugley, president of the board of C.A.S.S., said his group is glad to see progress occurring.

“We’re really pleased to see that this is finally happening,” he said. The year 2012 marked Pazapa's 25 years of service in Jacmel, and saw the school face many challenges in spite of its significant community efforts. Plan International provided financial assistance that allowed volunteers to construct temporary shelters shortly after the quake, which were intended to last one season. This allowed the school to re-open in May 2010, but the shelters have been damaged in a series of tropical storms, including the most recent, Hurricane Sandy.

Jugley said the organization’s members have been feeling bad for the students and faculty at Pazapa who for three years have attended school in those tents, enduring the intense Caribbean elements. Some of those students use wheelchairs and are facing significant challenges just to enter classrooms. By September 2013, “these kids (will) have done three rainy seasons in tents,” he said. “We would never tolerate (these conditions) for our children in Canada.” But now, everyone is thrilled construction is happening, and the support lent by Plan International and Christian Blind Mission is greatly appreciated.

Students face social stigma, personal challenges, poverty

Along with meeting the personal challenges that accompany disability and the lack of accessible buildings, these children are subjected to social stigma as a result of their conditions, which include developmental disabilities, such as the developmental disorder Down Syndrome, deafness, orthopaedic problems (club feet) and neurological issues (seizures).

Established more than 25 years ago, Pazapa is the only organization in south-eastern Haiti offering these social services, and runs a special-education day school for over 100 special-needs children, a school for more than 30 deaf children, and clinics and surgery for physically disabled children.

Budgetary cutbacks have forced the elimination of many of the recreational activities such as class parties, parades and a summer camp, but one positive was the December 21, 2012 Christmas party, where over 130 students received gifts and parents were also invited to the festivities. The event was made possible by C.A.S.S.’ generous donation.

The party was a much-needed respite for Pazapa's disabled students, who are already facing heart-wrenching personal challenges and poverty, in addition to seeing the destruction of the place that's provided them sanctuary from social stigma.

Pazapa helps students adjust and thrive

The students’ stories strike deep. Fourteen-year-old Erlande Jolifils is an intelligent and talkative student whose dream was fulfilled when she was crowned the 2012 Pazapa Carnival Queen. She has attended the school’s special education program since 2004 and is now in the mainstream class. Though she doesn’t have an intellectual disability, her physical features are cause for ridicule everywhere she goes.

Jacques Dulievre will turn 22 this year. He has attended the special education program since 1998 and is currently in the mainstream class. Dulievre has Cerebral Palsy and his older sister is epileptic. They are children of a poor family. The school has supported the Dulievres in many ways. Jacques will soon learn a trade and school staff hope he will become independent enough to help provide for his family. He wishes a Christmas party would be held annually to make everyone feel “alive”.

These are just two of the many stories that keep volunteers and donors working tirelessly to make the new centre a reality. C.A.S.S. aims to find ways to support the construction and operation of Pazapa.

How to help

The goal is to get the centre back up and running so the students can have a safe, functional learning environment, said Mark Jugley. “We want them to be respected and involved members of their community,” he said. Though many return to regular educational institutions, others will need long term support and care.

The association is accepting donations from individuals, community members and organizations. Volunteers are also needed. For more information, please contact C.A.S.S. at today. To read updates regarding Pazapa’s construction, visit the website at

Canadian Association Step by Step’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities, and their families, in Haiti. The small, Niagara-based organization links directly with reputable Haitian services for disabled children and, through the use of Canadian agents, has ensured that every dollar sent goes to serve the needs of disabled children. Unlike other organizations that direct a portion of funds raised to administrative costs, C.A.S.S. ensures that every dollar raised goes directly to the school.

March, 2013

Construction of the new PAZAPA Center is finally underway after three years of financial/administrative challenges, local and international bureaucracy, hurricanes and cholera! This is the first phase and the construction is expected to be completed in 5-8 months. Subsequent builds are planned to add to the final campus, but this first phase will provide the necessary classrooms and rehabilitation facilities for the students that are in attendance now (roughly 150-180 students). Things may move slowly in Haiti, but they will always persevere! Thank you again to everyone who supported this. Keep checking the website for updated photos.

November, 2012

Despite hurricanes, cholera, deteriorating shelters and frustrating delays to its rebuilding plans, the Pazapa centre is seeing a positive future ahead. Pazapa now has a signed contract with Plan to commence the building project shortly and they are cautiously optimistic that construction could begin as early as this December with completion targeted for the summer of 2013. CASS continues to look for ways to support this incredible opportunity for the children of the centre, to finally have a purpose-built facility to support both their rehabilitation and education needs. While funds have been sent most recently for additional school supplies and give the children of the centre a much appreciated Christmas celebration (including food and gifts for all 178 Pazapa children), CASS continues to seek funds to support the centre once construction is completed. It is anticipated that new equipment, furniture and school supplies will be needed and we wish to see the children be able to make full use of this wonderful new building. Board members are planning for a visit to the centre (at their own expense) once construction is well underway to get a better understanding of the centre’s needs and identify any other opportunities for donations, either financial or gifts in kind that support the mutual goals of the centre and CASS.

We wish to thank all of our donors for their support this year and for your attendance at two successful fund raising events earlier this year. Please note that CASS continues to look for new board members and volunteers to help us in the year ahead, certainly what is likely to be one of the most exciting years since we began. As the holidays approach, please don’t forget about the important work of the centre, and CASS, and consider us again as a charity of choice in your holiday giving!

February, 2012


Two years have passed since the tragic January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In many places, un-cleared rubble still litters the streets, new construction is scarce, and people still live in tents. Fortunately, PAZAPA is faring better even though the earthquake destroyed the PAZAPA Center in central Jacmel, where PAZAPA operated a clinic, rehab facility, and a school. Presently, PAZAPA operates out of temporary structures that have been pitched at the outskirts of town on land the organization has since purchased. To date, two international organizations are supporting the rebuilding of Pazapa: Christian Blind Mission/CBM (Germany) has provided funds for architectural plans and a security wall; Plan International has pledged funds toward reconstruction of the center. Additional support is needed for the complete rebuilding of the PAZAPA Center so that PAZAPA can once again comprehensively addresses the educational, medical, nutritional, and economic needs of the children and their families.

PAZAPA works to support the treatment, education, and development of children with disabilities. PAZAPA is able to integrate these children into the community at-large. By fostering acceptance of children with disabilities, PAZAPA effects systemic change in the treatment and education of, and Haitians’ attitudes toward, children with disabilities.

Program Overview

Special Education: The PAZAPA School offers an academic curriculum and provides rehabilitative therapy. Enrolled children can be as young as just a few weeks old; children generally stay enrolled and continue to attend into their late teens. Presently, 118 children attend school and receive treatment.

School for the Deaf: When the only Haitian boarding school for the deaf closed abruptly in October 2007, PAZAPA assumed the continuing education of local deaf students from kindergarten to national certificate level.

PAZAPA Orthopedic and Medical Services: Visiting medical professionals provide clinical evaluation, orthopedic, neurological, and plastic surgery, occupational and physical therapy, and rehabilitation for physically disabled children. PAZAPA provides, free of charge, medication to control epilepsy as prescribed by local and international volunteer physicians.

Family Support: PAZAPA, in its holistic approach, believes that the health and development of a child is closely linked to the family’s income level. For this reason, PAZAPA provides micro-loans to families of PAZAPA children and senior PAZAPA students. To-date, these loans have facilitated a solar fruit-drying project; courses in book keeping, sewing, pattern-making and cooking, leading to overall literacy.

Home Visits: Children with multiple and severe disabilities who are unable to attend the PAZAPA school in Jacmel are enrolled in the PAZAPA Home Visit Program. PAZAPA teachers and visiting volunteers see them in their homes and communities twice monthly. The home visit program also provides these children and their families with staples that include rice and beans, flour, cornmeal, oil, and spaghetti.

Outreach: The Outreach Program brings help to more than 300 children every year, who live with disabilities and reside in the rural areas.

New Building Needs

The new building must provide efficient space for therapy and diagnosis of physical disabilities and classrooms for the developmentally and hearing impaired students. Since PAZAPA provides breakfast and lunch, a dining area, a kitchen and space to store food are needed. Safe and affordable accommodations for visiting medical professionals and volunteers are a scarce commodity in Jacmel. For this reason, a guest house is ultimately planned and will require additional fundraising.

With funding from Children’s Blind Mission (CBM) and the internationally known Haitian Architecture Firm of F. Mangones, Architecture & Developement, Inc., plans are in place for the new PAZAPA Center. The plans currently include the following:

  • Interactive Exercise Room
  • Therapy Room for children with physical disabilities
  • Casting Room (Ponsetti casting procedure)
  • Four Classrooms
  • Office Space
  • Toilets and Water Hook up
  • Classroom for School for the Deaf with Media/Computer Facilities
  • Teachers Meeting Room
  • Workshop for Training of Developmentally Disabled

Additional funds are needed for the following rooms to make PAZAPA a thriving and functional school:

  • Dining Room and Kitchen with Storage
  • Guard’s Apartment
  • Guest House on the upper level
  • Parking Lot and School Yard

February, 2012

Join us for a terrific night of laughter and friendly competition to support the disabled children of Haiti and the work of the Canadian Association Step by Step.

Trivia Night
Saturday February 18th at 7:30 p.m.
The Street Tap & Eatery
547 Ontario Street, St. Catharines
$3.00 per person
50/50 draw

Trivia Night Poster (PDF)

November, 2010

Cheque Presentation to Plan Canada on November 8, 2010 to Assist with the Rebuilding of the Pazapa Centre

October, 2010

The last few months have been very productive for our friends in Jacmel, Haiti. The Pazapa centre opened for the fall term on October 4th and saw a continued increase in their registrations. Just prior to opening they were expecting 20 new students, in addition to their previously enrolled children, mostly children 0-3 years of age. While the centre continues to operate under temporary structures, they are currently working to build a small kitchen to restart the canteen program and provide the children nourishing hot meals. Orthopedic, medical and educational programs have resumed and staff are anticipating a very busy fall.

Pazapa also received new grant money to purchase kitchen and cooking equipment for a small local foods project. Parents and graduated students will be able to produce and sell Haitian products such as peanut butter and local jams, with sales targeted to NGO’s, hotels, markets and visitors to the centre. It is hoped that approximately 20 individuals will be able to participate in this small enterprise.

Most importantly excellent progress has been made in establishing a rebuild plan with the invaluable support of Plan Haiti and CBM (Christian Blind Mission). Funds are currently being secured from a number of sources both individual and corporate to ensure the success of this project. Canadian Association Step by Step is also directing funds to the rebuilding of the centre through Plan Canada/Haiti who is recognized as well positioned to ensure the completion of the rebuild, including primary structure, play facilities and secondary buildings. In the coming months, C.A.S.S. will be able to update donors on the progress of the rebuilding efforts and the activities of the centre. We continue to encourage donors to consider the earthquake recovery needs of Haiti and Pazapa and recognize that continued contributions are still needed. It is our promise to donors that your funds will be carefully targeted to projects, such as the Pazapa centre’s rebuild, that are accountable and clearly benefit the local community, the families and children of Haiti.

May, 2010

Good News! Pazapa has been able to purchase land in Jacmel that will be the new home for the centre. While the community waits for direction from the government to commence rebuilding (aftershocks still continue which delay the ability to start rebuilding), Pazapa has made arrangements to erect temporary shelter for their classes. Tents have been donated by Save the Children and Plan Haiti has assisted with additional temporary classroom structures and latrine facilities. With the generous donations from both Canadian and American donors, Pazapa is making good progress in their recovery efforts and looks forward to working with several partner agencies in the coming months to build a new permanent structure for the centre. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months!

See the photos on the Pictures page.

An update from the Executive Director of Pazapa


"Dear all,

Before I get to the PAZAPA updates, I wanted to share with you some statistics that I found in a newspaper article about Jacmel. There is a total 1,785 destroyed homes in Jacmel, 87 businesses, 54 schools, 24 hotels and 26 churches. The death toll was around 3000, which represents 10% of the Jacmel population. Finally, there is a total of 5,730 families who are displaced.

Where the PAZAPA families are concerned we have a total of 10 families whose homes have been completely destroyed by the earthquake and 37 more homes which were damaged and need repairs.

As I usually tell myself on a daily basis: “in Haiti it’s one step forward and five steps back”. PAZAPA is facing one more setback. The house that we were negotiating for our temporary location is no longer available. The owners felt that our expectations were too high and they were not willing to make the appropriate repairs to the unfinished part of the building. Our Administrator, Mr. Forgeas, is a very cautious person and he did not feel comfortable risking donated funds on this deal. Therefore, PAZAPA continues to search for a new temporary location as well as a suitable property for the building of our new Center.

With the extra CRS food that was left in our storage room, we felt the need to donate it since there would be no school in the near future and we feared that it would go bad. Mr. Forgeas contacted Catholic Relief Services and they agreed that the Centre hand out the food to our families. There was another food distribution done last Monday, February 8th, to a total of 80 families. They received wheat, soy, beans and oil. The distribution was done out of my home and everything was done in a calm and orderly fashion thanks to the dedication of the PAZAPA staff and not to forget the cooperation of the families.

Day by day, the staff has been gradually emptying the Center’s main building and storing certain items in our storage room in the backyard. So far all computers have been removed because they were exposed to rain, sun and dust damage, the DVD and TV, all medical and casting materials/files. The entire main level of the center has also been emptied. They have spent most of this week doing this dangerous task knowing that the last aftershock was last Tuesday of 4.6 magnitude!

I have been speaking with Dr Colleen O’Connell from Healing Hands Canada regarding their support to PAZAPA’s rehabilitation efforts in the future and here are some very promising things that she has said: “We are working on having HHH teams in steadily to go wherever the needs are… and are now bringing mainly pure rehab professionals. St. BonFace hospital (somewhere between Jacmel and Les Cayes) is receiving rehab patients, and we have some HHH people there. If you thought we could set up “shop” somewhere, we could certainly send a team to Jacmel. Also, I asked one of the doctors there to let me know how many amputees – HHH is working with Handicap International to ensure P&O centres get set up across the country, not just PAP, so you shouldn’t have to send people that far”.

For your information, Colleen has annually sent Healing Hands volunteers to PAZAPA since 2007. They are a very dynamic team and have supported our needs mostly in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech language therapy among others!

Finally, we are in need of casting material for our orthopedic and clubfoot patients because CURE Haiti is currently shifting its focus on earthquake relief in Haiti. Also, the other centers who were partners in the clubfoot project no longer exist (Healing Hands Haiti and St Vincent). This will be the case until all centers reopen and CURE makes a decision on the project.

I have posted the pictures of PAZAPA as well as all the other colonial homes in Jacmel damaged by the earthquake on my Facebook account."

Marika MacRae, Executive Director of Pazapa

2009 News

In 2009, C.A.S.S. was again able to help the PAZAPA centre in Jacmel Haiti. This year C.A.S.S. contributed to several PAZAPA projects to include its "Ti Commerce" program. 20 Families with disabled children, or individuals with disabilities that just completed their schooling, were be able to receive interest free loans to initiate small businesses. As this strategy has shown itself to be quite successful in the past, it is anticipated that the funds provided to this initiative in 2009 will allow for the Ti Commerce Project to continue annually in the future without further outside funding.

Additional funds were also provided to support an outreach project in the La Montagne area. C.A.S.S. funded the Outreach Goats Project providing 10 children with disabilities each a goat to raise. The offspring from these goats will be used to provide revenue for the community as part of a self-sustaining small community farming business. (Photos of the Outreach Goats Project can be found on the pictures page of this website.)

It was also a joy to be able to fund the annual Childrens' Christmas party providing toys and gifts to approximately 120 children with disabilities. (Photos of the Christmas party are also on the Pictures page).

These are just a couple of C.A.S.S. projects and it is anticipated that the association plans to fund more initiatives in the coming months. Individuals who wish to participate in fund raising or board activities are always welcome. If you are interested in volunteering with the Canadian Association Step by Step, please contact us at

More Information

For more information about the earthquake in Haiti click here.

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All of our past news updates are archived here.