Back to school in Haiti


Summer vacation is coming to an end in Haiti, and 16-year-old Christella is ready for the new school year. After getting excellent marks on her final exams in June, she’s now in her third year of secondary school, looking forward to her math, physics, chemistry and biology classes the most—“I want to become a doctor,” she says.

Over the summer, with plenty of time on her hands, she got to relax and pitch in to support her family. “I helped my mom in the shop, and made bracelets and craft envelopes. I’ve got a mobile phone, so I didn’t miss my friends—we sent text messages and called each other. And I saw a friend I met at the rehabilitation center, Dina, who also lost her leg.”

Christella lost her left leg in the earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010. With support from Handicap International, she received a prosthesis, and improved her strength, balance, and mobility through rehabilitation sessions. Over the past five years, Handicap International teams have kept a close eye on her progress. In April 2014, she visited the Healing Hands for Haïti rehabilitation and orthopedic-fitting center, where technicians repaired her prosthesis, changed the foot, and adjusted the fit.

Christella returns to school this week. “I can’t wait,” she says. “I’ve been going to that school since I was really young and I feel comfortable there. I’ve always got good results, and I have lots of friends.”

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Watch a video of Christella