Happy Childhood Foundation inaugurates the new Laetitia Hatem Rehabilitation Center at Hotel Dieu de France, Beirut

A Rehabilitation & Healing Space to alleviate pain and heal in peace

Our mission is to make the less fortunate children happier, eager to live, and mature into good people”. Inspired by this objective, the Happy Childhood Foundation – Lebanon (HCF-Lebanon), originally the Philippe Hatem Foundation for a Happy Childhood, inaugurated the new, expanded Laetitia Hatem Rehabilitation Center (LHRC), on September 12th, 2018. LHRC, which was first established in 2012, has developed into a reference in rehabilitation excellence, in Lebanon and the region, providing physical, occupational, speech, and psychomotor therapy, in addition to psychological support; it is located at Hotel Dieu de France Hospital in Beirut.

Welcoming all the guests, Père Joseph Nassar, President of the hospital, said “the LHRC is an exemplary success story, for several reasons: the qualifications of its team and management, the use of best-in-class equipment and rehabilitation processes, the special architecture of the facility and its adjacent healing garden, and the power of the strategic partnership between Hôtel-Dieu hospital and the Happy Childhood Foundation, which is based on mutual trust and constructive dialogue. This success puts LHRC at the core of the hospital’s strategic development.”.

Laetitia Hatem herself then took the floor to make a personal testimony regarding the importance of the centre for all children in need of rehabilitation care.

After this warm welcome, a film showcasing the impact of LHRC is making in the lives of children was played, and a word by the technical partner of LHRC in the United States was read.

Mr. Georges Hatem, President of HCF, thanked all those who allowed the completion of the new LHRC, adding: “To date, the Happy Childhood Foundation in Lebanon has already helped thousands of children in the fields of basic necessities, protection, health, education, and recreation; at LHRC, hundreds of children have already received rehabilitation care thanks to HCF with remarkable cases of recovered health, autonomy, dignity, and hope, transforming the lives of children and their families. In 2018 alone, about ten thousand physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions will be provided to 165 children in need.” He concluded: “In everything we do, we are also inspired by the values and the spirit of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child”.

Guests were then invited to visit the centre where they were introduced to the newest additions in terms of indoor rehabilitation space, new equipment, pool for water therapy, and the one-of-its kind in the region outdoor rehabilitation & healing garden designed by world renowned landscape architect Mr. Vladimir Djurovic, who wanted to create “a garden of hope and inspiration. Through a delicate connection with nature, we aspire that in this serene space, contemplation finds determination. A place to help bring back autonomy, self respect, dignity and happiness to children with special needs.”

Designed to enhance the patients’ wellbeing, the garden offers several private corners not only to heal in peace, but to rest, contemplate, and meditate next to the water pond and the spiritual corner.

Operated by a professional team of dedicated therapists and staff managed by experienced and skilled Medical Director and Head Therapist, the LHRC concept was developed with the technical support of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab – SRALab (previously known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), the number one rehabilitation hospital in the United States.

Established in April 2010, following the death of the young Philippe Hatem at age 11, the Happy Childhood Foundation Lebanon is now affiliated to a mother foundation incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland, and is sister to other affiliates of the Swiss foundation and that are incorporated in the United States and in Africa.