SHOWING COMPASSION TO THE HELPLESS
In Haiti, adults and children with disabilities are often treated as outcasts. Whether it’s a physical or mental disability, individuals with special needs are neglected by their families, bullied by the community, and excluded from social activities and left alone with no one to care for them.
Our At-Risk program exists to care for the “forgotten ones.” We seek out the vulnerable and provide for more than 80 individuals' needs, including medical care, meals, physical therapy, education, and one-on-one time to show Jesus Christ’s abounding love for them.
Children enrolled in Johnny’s Kids receive physical therapy, education, nutritious meals, and play therapy from our staff and mission teams.
In June 2017, construction on “Johnny’s House” began. This facility will serve as a learning and therapy center for kids with disabilities. Long-term living quarters will be offered to select individuals in need of full-time care from specialized staff. Through this program, we hope these kids are better cared for and loved by their family and community.
THE HEART BEHIND JOHNNY'S KIDS
Individuals with disabilities in Thomazeau, Haiti, are very near and dear to the heart of Laurie Vanderpool, co-founder of LiveBeyond.Her brother, John Mark, also known as “Johnny,” was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. Despite having a disability, Johnny was described as, “a champion in heart, in spirit and in character.” He always had a smile on his face and touched the lives of everyone that he came into contact with during his 46 years of life.
Johnny’s legacy continues to live on every day in Haiti. A group of children with various types of disabilities in Thomazeau are lovingly known as “Johnny’s Kids.” Although many of these kids have been labeled as outcasts in society, we believe and know that each of these kids can truly make a difference in the world just like Johnny did.
JOHNNY'S KIDS SPOTLIGHT
Lancy "Belle" is a favorite among team members that serve on LiveBeyond mission weeks. From the moment you meet her, Lancy's sweet smile and infectious giggle steals your heart.
Lancy was born with a form of cerebral palsy. Her mother, Jesula, takes good care of Lancy, but has difficulty providing for all of her needs. Because of her physical disability, Lancy will never be able to go to a local school to learn. She is truly a bright child, but simply needs someone to invest in her future.
LiveBeyond provides Lancy with an opportunity to attend Day Camp for physical therapy, learning opportunities and a nutritious meal. Plus, she gets lots of love from our team. The Lord has big plans in store for this sweet girl!