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Helping Haitians is my family’s tradition and mission

Kidsday reporter Jean-Paul Duchatellier, left, and his mom,

Kidsday reporter Jean-Paul Duchatellier, left, and his mom, Fatima, and in Haiti and some of the Haitian children that they help out every year. Credit: Duchatellier family

My dad, Dr. Thierry Duchatellier, is from Haiti and is also a physician here in New York. With a group of other doctors, he created an organization called the Foundation for Health and Hope in Haiti. He is also a proud member of Forgotten Children of Haiti, a nonprofit organization providing help for a hospital, school canteen and orphanage. Twice a year, we gather supplies, food, drinks, medicine, clothes, etc. and bring them to Haiti.

I remember when I was 6, we went to Haiti to help out after the earthquake of 2010. My parents told me to hand out all of the toothpaste to the line of people waiting to be seen by the doctors, but all of the kids who got the toothpaste thought it was candy and ate it, which shows how poor and in need the people in Haiti are. After that, I decided to take a break and watched the movie “Cars” on my dad’s iPad. I then turned around to see about 20 kids looking over my shoulder to see something they had never seen before. I asked them if they wanted to see it, and they all nodded. In return they said I could ride the donkey, and being the little 6-year-old boy I was, I agreed.

We also helped with the Forgotten Children of Haiti and went to an orphanage that it supports. The orphanage had many kids who were abandoned by their parents, and some were left in the garbage because they had cerebral palsy. Their parents thought the kids were born broken, so they threw them out. When we were there, we just acted like kids and reminded them of what fun was like. We played soccer, blew up balloons and handed them out and just had fun.

Honestly, I think kids around my age should help out in some kind of charity either in their community or around the world. The Foundation for Health and Hope in Haiti (fhhh.org) and the Forgotten Children of Haiti are such great charities and organizations to help out and to especially help those in need not just in Haiti, but everywhere else.

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