Hero of the Hemisphere Award

Congratulations to Nicole Muller César, founder and director of IHCD, on being named a 2010 Hero of the Hemisphere by the Pan American Development Foundation for “creating an oasis for the youngest victims of abuse, violence, and exploitation”.

Photo: Vantz Brutus

From PADF: In the poorest country in the hemisphere, where approximately 40 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, the youngest are often the first to be abused and the last to receive help.

Nicole Muller César wanted to alleviate the suffering of these children. After a successful, 30-year career in Boston, Nicole returned to her native Haiti 10 years ago to help child victims of violence, exploitation, sexual abuse and abandonment.

The U.S. trained psychologist and social worker brought to Haiti a holistic approach and started the Institute for Human and Community Development. The youngsters are taught social skills, enjoy a hot meal (for most, their only meal of the day) and receive medical and dental care. To overcome the traumas of violence and exploitation, they are in one-on-one and group counseling. The high-risk children in one of Tabarre’s impoverished neighborhoods learn basic reading, writing and math.

Today, for 250 abused and neglected children who previously only knew the slum conditions outside the nation’s capital, the school is an oasis. For Nicole, the Institute is the realization of a dream. PADF is supporting Nicole’s holistic approach through its Protecting Human Rights program., which is funded by USAID.