Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation

AMENDOCIA, student

I remember after the earthquake, I had a cousin, who was fractured at the hip. Despite my lack of knowledge, I was able to help her and she is alive and healthy. I wanted to help many other people that day but I did not have the capacity or knowledge. This is why I want to be a physical therapist, because there are so many people who need it! These are people who believe in us for aid. They give us their trust, as they hope to continue to struggle to live


Dr. Sarah Cline, volunteer

I am in awe of the immense responsibility FSRL has taken on as a pioneer in physical and occupational therapy education for the people of Haiti and proud to have been a small part of their program.

The commitment the students show to their studies and progressing health care in Haiti is impressive. These students are super heroes; taking tests weekly, learning content in 3 different languages, and adapting to the teaching style of each professor are conditions that most students couldn’t overcome. Dean Janet with her constant support, commitment to excellence, kindness, and endless work helps make the seemingly impossible, possible. She allows the students to achieve their own dreams relative to school and life with grace.

I will be eagerly awaiting the opportunity to return to FSRL knowing that I will be returning to friends passionately working to make the world a better place. Bon bagay, FSRL.

child in OT w Stephyole 2 June 2017.jpg

Stephyole, Student

Christa was just over one year old when she came to see fourth-year student, Stephyole.  She was well-loved, well cared for, and interacted easily with her family, but was not yet able to sit up, something that normally happens at the age of six months.  Infants can usually sit up by the age of 6 months. 

After a thorough evaluation Stephyole identified a significant weakness in Christa’s trunk muscles, and began working with the infant, and her mother to build this necessary strength.  Christa's mother learned how to encourage her daughter to roll over independently, and to push up to  support herself on her elbows. 

One day, and after much hard work from the HRF team, Christa’s mother came in and was overjoyed- the infant was able to sit on her own!

Early intervention is critical, and a source of common misunderstanding in Haiti. Many children who suffer developmentally, are often carried and coddled, purely out of love and the belief that their difficulty will go away - but instead, muscles atrophy and development is stunted, leaving far greater, lasting impact. In this case, he mother's training by Stephyole was the key to Christa's rapid progress:  Christa was able to receive the just-right challenge, and crossed over the hurdle to development.  


I learned about Occupational Therapy a few years ago while volunteering at a local hospital, translating for a team of PT and OT students and professors visiting Haiti from Sherbrooke University (Canada). Working with the OT students totally changed my career ideas. My heart was stolen from the minute I saw the OTs connecting with patients.

I learned of FSRL from one of the visiting Sherbrooke professors. After seeing FSRL and talking with Dean O’Flynn, my parents and I decided this was an opportunity for me to get the OT degree I wanted close to home. At FSRL, I can get my education in a Haitian setting, with a Haitian perspective. This will give me a better tool kit to serve my community in Haiti.

FSRL is giving me what, I think, will make me a great therapist, in my country and close to my family. I am grateful for this awesome opportunity!

Jean Laurent Michaud.jpg

Jean Laurent Michaud, Student

While we were walking in the town of Jacmel, with an old friend, now a psychologist in Miami, we saw a boy of about six years of age.  He had a deformation of his legs, so that he could not stand up straight.  When I saw him, I asked my friend if he could help him.  He said he could not, because this was not his field of expertise, only a therapist could help the boy.

With that answer, I immediately proposed to my friend that he help me financially after my high school studies, I knew that I was going to learn how to be a physical therapist, to help my country. After the earthquake, I had even more motivation - to give everything I have to the advancement of health care in Haiti through this profession.