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Father’s Day…I heard there was cake

29 Jun 2010

Sunday was Father's Day in Haiti and as part of our "psycho-social" programme supporting older people's recovery, we organised two events to celebrate the day.

There was some debate among staff at the care home we visited in the morning; did men really deserve a Father's Day?! Mother's Day they could understand - mothers do so much.

"Even now at the care home the women residents help out as much as they can," one of the staff tells us.

Nevertheless the men enjoyed the events and all residents - men and women -  got lots of cake!

Celebrating fathers' contributions

Later, we were at CENSHOP, the hospital HelpAge has helped rehabilitate. We have allocated one floor for the exclusive care of older patients. We spoke to some of the male patients who were happy to pass on their advice to younger fathers.

Maurice Moise, 62, and his friends at the hospital told us: "Pay as much as you can pay for your children's school fees. You can give them material things but these things won't last. Only an education lasts."

Maurice still takes his role as a father seriously. He has oedema and, as a result, one foot is very swollen, and will require surgery. But Maurice is keen to recover.

"I'm a plumber by trade and I want to work again so I can help support my four adult children."

He doesn't really want to go back to the Asile Communale, where he had been before we brought him to CENSHOP, but his housing situation is still unclear.

It seems to me all the older fathers and mothers we've met deserve more than two days a year that recognise and celebrate their contribution! 

Read more about HelpAge's work in Haiti.

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Author profile

Rosaleen Cunningham
Country: Ireland
Job title: Freelance Media and Communications

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.