As we leave 2015 behind us we can be proud of the past 17 years, during which years we have shared our time, energy and money with the many Peace Corps Volunteers that served in the Dominican Republic. During that period, we have also helped almost 30,000 Dominicans achieve a better life. We have provided Peace Corps Volunteers and Dominicans financial resources to build sanitary latrines, make and use smokeless stoves, have drinking water available from faucets outside their houses, enjoy sanitary concrete floors, take classes in new schools, use computers in new libraries and join with other Dominicans and Americans to experience a brighter future.
Together with our Dominican friends and their families, we have helped Peace Corps Volunteers introduce programs to better their environment through Brigada Verde; to have better health care through Peace Corps’ focus on family health; to improve educational opportunities through a focus on better educational facilities and teachers; and, we have helped prepare Dominicans to represent the unrepresented among them that lack the necessary documentation to attend school, get better health care and be able to remain in their native country through the Declaro mis Dererchos training programs and legal assistance work.
We have assisted Peace Corps Volunteers to work with young women and men to make better life choices through Chicas Brillantes and Chicos Superman, where they go to workshops with other young Dominicans and learn from each other how to avoid harmful decisions that will follow them through life. We will probably never know how their young lives were changed through these efforts, but we know they will change, just as we changed from the experience of working with them during our time as Volunteers.
Given much of the negative talk going on about immigrants and foreigners in our country right now, some people might ask the question, “why does Friends of the Dominican Republic continue to exist?” Others, who go to the nice resorts and enjoy the lovely Dominican beaches might ask, “Why do Dominicans still need our help?” My answer to those questions is: We know the Dominican people are warm, caring, responsible people that want a better life for their children and a better future for their country. We have worked beside them, we have married their daughters and sons, we have shared their rice and beans and visited with them about our families, friends and dreams. And, we know that sharing our good fortune helps make us better people.
On behalf of the Board of Directors thanks for all of your support!
Friends of the Dominican Republic