When the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare began the “Healing Haiti’s Children” program in 2010, an initiative to supply every child who lost a limb in the Haitian earthquake with free prosthetics and physical therapy, their goal was to give the next generation of Haitians the freedom of mobility. In healing the wounded limbs that might otherwise have been a barrier in life, the program offered a way for these young people to live without limits.
Now, in the fall of 2011, the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare are partnering on a special initiative to showcase the unlimited potential of Haiti’s youth. The two organizations are proud to be hosting Team Zaryen, a Haitian amputee soccer team founded by the first prosthetic recipient of the Healing Haiti’s Children program, to compete, teach, and inspire on a first of its kind tour in the U.S.
In Haitian culture, the handicapped are often treated as a burden, or as second-class citizens. Team Zaryen, through the players’ determination, skill and physical prowess on the soccer field, is helping to change that.
During this U.S. tour, the proud amputee athletes of Team Zaryen hope to give back to the American military that was quick to step in and provide emergency relief and security following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The team will conduct soccer clinics for wounded American soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Their hope is to share with them their enthusiasm for amputee soccer along with lessons they’ve learned in dealing with some of the same newfound challenges.
The “Haitian Inspiration Tour” will help make clear that charity is truly life changing and transformative.