Our work in the Dominican Republic
Unbound has been working in the Dominican Republic since 1982.
The dedicated staff listens to and works with families to help them achieve self-sufficiency through benefits, workshops and mothers groups.
The people of the Dominican Republic are known as some of the friendliest in the world. It has a rich agricultural tradition and was the first area discovered and settled in the New World.
But this vibrant country, home to some of baseball's greatest players, struggles with widespread poverty. It also faces challenges relating to immigration issues with Haiti.
Opportunities for mothers create hope for families
Unbound believes in the wisdom of mothers, and we strive to help mothers enable their families to become self-sustaining. The Santo Domingo project is implementing mothers groups in communities where Unbound works, giving mothers a voice in the sponsorship program and offering them opportunities to help their families build a path out of poverty.
Veronica, the mother of a sponsored child, has a small beauty salon in Santo Domingo. She joined a group for mothers of sponsored children and began saving money, which was matched by Unbound as part of our program to encourage savings and help fund livelihood programs for parents of sponsored children.
She used part of her savings, and a loan from the group, to reinvest in her salon, buying new brushes, a hair dryer and other items.
"With this I could offer a better service, worked more efficiently, got more clients and made more money," Veronica said. "My dreams are for my children to go to college and become good men."
Veronica's mothers group offers support, encouragement and opportunities to create a better life. The Santo Domingo project's goal is to offer all mothers of sponsored children in the Dominican Republic the opportunity to be part of a similar group.
Through partnership with one another and Unbound, they will chart a hopeful future for their families.
Unbound provides access to education
Education is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty, but without a strong, supportive family to encourage the student in his or her studies, success can be difficult to achieve.
In addition to providing enrollment fees, school uniforms and technical training for students, Unbound strengthens the family unit through workshops for sponsored members and their families. Workshops cover topics such as self-esteem, literacy, career planning, counseling services and more.
Unbound also operates the Centro Familiar. One of its functions is to work directly with schools to help provide targeted training to teachers.
Sometimes children living in poverty do not have access to continuous schooling. As they get older, they can fall behind in their schooling and end up attending classes with children who are many years younger.
The Centro Familiar has developed special curricula to address the older students' behavioral and educational needs, and help them catch up with peers in their age group.
Unbound programs in the Dominican Republic also offer sponsored children and the elderly nutritional assistance, health care, housing assistance as needed, clothing and celebrations for birthdays and holidays.