Father Michel Gimbaud
Father Michel Gimbaud, from the region of Anger, France, arrived in Chad in 1957. He worked for 12 years as a missionary in the communities until he returned to Fribourg, France to attend university for two years and be ordained a priest on March 25. 1976. He then returns to Chad and stays as a priest. There he meets Sor María Ángeles and begins their joint work with disabled children.
Father Michel was moved by the fate of children with physical disabilities totally neglected by the local health system. He therefore created the first centers for functional rehabilitation and social reintegration in the Moundou region, founder of the Center for the Disabled “Maison Notre Dame de Paix.” It begins with a small center, the small town of Benoye, in the south of Chad with five children on May 1, 1979. Later he receives the support of French doctors who begin to organize surgical missions from 1982 and in 1992 they create HANDICAP SANTE where he actively participates in organizing surgical expeditions. In May 1993, the first mixed surgical mission arrived, France/Catalonia. And there he meets Dr. Fernando Fonseca who, together with Dr. Dorio Djimamnodji and anesthetist Chantal Lory, is part of a medical team at handicap Santé. Starting in 1998,
Father Michel celebrates the creation of a new organization directed by Dr. Fonseca (AHS) that will provide him with new surgical expeditions in the center each year, incorporating new health collaborators from Catalonia. 20 years of professional exchange and friendship that unite them for the same cause, “stand a child up” until 2012 when Dr. Fonseca makes his last trip to Chad to say goodbye to Africa and to him.
On July 19, 2014, Father Michel wrote this message «Fernando leaves us the memory of a man willing to respond to emergency situations to contribute his great skill as a surgeon but also his deep sensitivity to the suffering of others to try to respond with your friendship, your solidarity, your professionalism.
A true doctor guided by the desire to transform lives to make them more beautiful.” After retiring and passing the direction of the center to another Capuchin brother, Father Michel is still active collaborating with the Liliane Foundation and the disabled in Chad. He is also Chanceline’s protective grandfather.
With 64 years dedicated to putting children on their feet, only he can be the honorary collaborator of the Chad for the Foundation.