Your donations in action!

New rainwater collection system.

Girls using the new hand-washing station.

Water flows from faucet in Los Plomos.

Big changes in health result from Community Challenge Fund project

When DR-PCV Eva Gougian conducted a community needs survey for Los Derramaderos, a rural community located in the arid region of the extreme northwest, improved health conditions for the children quickly rose to the top of the list. Students were often sick and either unable to attend school, or attended but were unable to focus on instruction due to their sickness. The PTA (the Padres and Amigos of the Escuela) identified several major health needs in the K-8 school including health education, hygiene, sanitation, potable water and prevention of infectious diseases.

To meet the health-related infrastructure needs of the school serving 250 students, the PTA focused on several projects including the reconstruction of abandoned latrines, construction of a hand-washing station, installation of a water filtration system, reconstruction of the roof water collection and storage system and installation of waste disposal receptacles. In addition, the school administration committed to giving ten lectures on health.

The PTA sought the assistance of the Community Challenge Fund and was approved for a grant of $1,646 to purchase materials. The community provided all the labor, purchased the water filter, obtained the sand from a nearby riverbed and completed the project over a period of six months. Eva has now observed that almost all students are using the hand-washing station after using the latrines and the teachers report that fewer students are missing class due to sickness.

Program Support Fund helps Los Plomos

In 2010 and 2011, Friends of the Dominican Republic donated equipment to Peace Corps-DR's water sector through our Program Support Fund. That equipment (survey levels, pipe cutters, etc.) is getting a lot of use from current Peace Corps Volunteers. One example is in the community of Los Pomos, a small, rural town located in the northern part of the Dominican Republic. On September 15, 2012 the town celebrated the inauguration of its water system, led by Peace Corps Volunteer Michael Schon.

The system is approximately two miles of pipeline, serving potable spring water to 13 homes and a school. The construction took one year from start to finish, and cost US $15,000. The project was funded by Peace Corps Partnership Program and Fundación ADEMI (a local NGO), which contributed half of the total amount to purchase materials; the other half was provided by the community in the form of manual labor and transport.