Individuals with disabilities in Thomazeau, Haiti, are very near and dear to the heart of Laurie Vanderpool, LiveBeyond’s co-founder. Her brother, John Mark, also known as “Johnny,” was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. Despite having a disability, Johnny was described as, “a champion in heart, in spirit and in character.” He always had a smile on his face and touched the lives of everyone that he came into contact with during his 46 years of life.
In Haiti, individuals with special needs are often called cocobai - Haitian Creole for "worthless". Our At-Risk program exists to love and care for the "forgotten ones". We seek these friends out and provide for their essential needs.