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JUNE 16, 2016

Haitian Government Awards Witnesses for Helping the Disabled

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—The Office of the Secretary of State for the Integration of People with Disabilities in Haiti (BSEIPH) presented the Christian Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Haiti with an Accessibility Award, which recognizes organizations that have assisted the disabled. During a ceremony attended by the then Prime Minister Evans Paul, Daniel Lainé, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Haiti, accepted the award in the category of “Communication and Technology,” as pictured above. The event was held on December 3, 2015, to coincide with what is recognized as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The Accessibility Award in the category of “Communication and Technology” the Witnesses received on December 3, 2015.

Commenting on the Witnesses’ contributions to the disabled community, Guerline Dardignac, chief of staff for BSEIPH, explained that “the Christian Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Haiti makes outstanding efforts for the inclusion of disabled ones. The Association takes into consideration not just the physical access to their buildings, through facilities for those with special assistance needs; it also facilitates communication and access to technology by holding meetings for worship and other activities in sign language (American Sign Language) and by providing Braille publications and sign-language videos.”

In 2013, the Witnesses received an Accessibility Award in recognition of their efforts to make their place of worship in Cayes, Haiti, handicapped-accessible.

This is the Witnesses’ second Accessibility Award since a massive earthquake pummeled Haiti, killing more than 222,000 people and injuring some 300,000—increasing the number of disabled residents by an estimated 15 percent. They received their first in 2013 when BSEIPH recognized the Witnesses’ efforts to make their place of worship in Cayes, Haiti, handicapped-accessible.

Mr. Lainé states: “We appreciate these awards as acknowledgements of our efforts to assist the disabled community, and we are happy to provide these services as part of our Bible educational work.”

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, 1-718-560-5000

Haiti: Daniel Lainé, 509-2813-1560