Latest update

Cases in the Dominican Republic have continued to fall from the 1,000 cases reported last month to an average of 556 per day as of July 18th. So far, the country has fully vaccinated 43.6% of its population of 10.5 million people, up from 24% in June. A curfew remains in place with differing hours on weekdays and weekends. The Dominican Republic is not requiring a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country and the government is encouraging tourism in an effort to revive the economy.

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Country update

Crisis Reports from the Dominican Republic

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    Tropical Depression Grace, Dominican Republic (Final Crisis Update) 21 Aug, 2021

    The situation

    Tropical Depression Grace made landfall in the Dominican Republic on August 16th, causing heavy continuous rain. The most affected area was Barahona. The National Disaster Response Team has been working with the National Office leadership in the Dominican Republic to provide support to the local church partners as they prepared for the storm and in its aftermath.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 26

    New information

    Local church partners in the Dominican Republic have completed their evaluation of the impact of Tropical Depression Grace in their communities. They have reported that 26 children in total were affected. Thankfully, no injuries were reported and no child development centres were damaged. The local church partners were able to provide relief goods and support to affected children and their families.

    Prayer

    Thank you for praying for the staff, church partners, children and families affected by Tropical Depression Grace.

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    Tropical Depression Grace, Dominican Republic 18 Aug, 2021

    The situation

    Tropical Depression Grace made landfall in the Dominican Republic on August 16th, causing heavy continuous rain. The most affected area was Barahona. The National Disaster Response Team has been working with the National Office leadership in the Dominican Republic to provide support to the local church partners as they prepared for the storm and in its aftermath.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: not yet confirmed Number of Compassion assisted children affected: not yet confirmed

    New information

    Our local teams on the ground are still gathering information and assessing the impact of Tropical Depression Grace on children and families in their communities. No significant impact has been reported at this stage. We will continue to provide updates as they are made available.

    Prayer

    Please pray for staff, children and families who have been impacted by Tropical Storm Grace. Pray for wisdom and strength for the Disaster Response Team as they assess the impact and provide necessary support.

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    Tropical Storm Fred, Dominican Republic (Final Crisis Report) 17 Aug, 2021

    The situation

    Tropical Storm Fred made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, August 11th 2021. The most affected provinces during the storm were: La Altagracia, La Romana, Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, El Seibo, San Cristobal, Monseñor Nouel, San Jose de Ocoa, Hato Mayor, Azua, Peravia, Barahona, Sanchez Ramirez and La Vega. The storm produced heavy to moderate rains and wind conditions. Local staff were given prior notice as the storm approached and they were able to prepare their communities with safety information and procedures for before and after the storm.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 10

    New information

    The local church partners completed their evaluation of the impact of Tropical Storm Fred in their communities. Ten children in total were reported as affected, but thankfully none were injured. These children and their families are receiving additional support for house repairs and the provision of relief goods and household items.

    Prayer

    Thank you for praying for the safety of children, staff and families in the Dominican Republic following the recent tropical storm.

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    Tropical Storm Fred, Dominican Republic 11 Aug, 2021

    The situation

    Tropical Storm Fred made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, August 11th 2021. The most affected provinces during the storm were: La Altagracia, La Romana, Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, El Seibo, San Cristobal, Monseñor Nouel, San Jose de Ocoa, Hato Mayor, Azua, Peravia, Barahona, Sanchez Ramirez and La Vega. The storm is producing heavy to moderate rains and wind conditions. Local staff were given prior notice as the storm approached and they were able to prepare their communities with safety information and procedures for before and after the storm.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: not yet confirmed Number of Compassion assisted children affected: not yet confirmed

    New information

    The National Disaster Response Team has been actively monitoring this event since the first announcement of a potential tropical storm. Local church partners were notified accordingly and were able to take all measures possible to protect their communities and facilities. No significant impact has been reported at this stage, however local partners will continue to closely monitor and communicate their situation.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety of children, staff and families in the Dominican Republic following the recent tropical storm.

How is Compassion currently operating in the Dominican Republic?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Compassion centers in the Dominican Republic are either doing distance only or only meeting in small groups at this time. Local church partners are mostly working from home and provide spiritual and emotional support to children and families through phone calls, video calls and virtual methods. They have also delivered almost 220,000 food packs and nearly 114,000 hygiene kits, while complying with guidelines. Church partners in the Dominican Republics are also working with local doctors to facilitate telehealth calls with families and have helped provide medical support to almost 15,000 individuals. Mentors and tutors are keeping in touch with children and youth through online meetings and social media.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in the Dominican Republic, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in the Dominican Republic. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in the Dominican Republic who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for peace and provision for a mother and her child who are healing emotionally, physically and mentally from domestic abuse.
  • Pray that God's comfort would be with a family whose child recently passed away.
  • Pray for peace and comfort for a family who lost the mother and her baby during childbirth.
  • Pray that God would allow Jenifer’s mother to make a full recovery and be healed from any lasting complications from her stroke.
  • Pray for Esther’s continued recovery as she continues to heal from a motorcycle accident.
  • Pray that God would heal Pastor Francis and allow her to make a full recovery.
  • Pray that God would encourage and bring complete healing to a staff member from DR0384.
  • Pray that God’s comfort and peace would be with Pastor Francisco’s family and the members of DR0832 as they grieve his passing.
  • Pray that God’s comfort and peace would be with Jazmin as she grieves the loss of her baby.
Staying connected in the Dominican Republic

Staying connected in the Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, local church partners have gone above and beyond to raise awareness for the prevention of COVID-19 among families. Some have even connected with local radio stations to spread the message further!   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, all centres in the Dominican Republic are conducting ministry either through phone calls and emails or small groups. Staff members continue to conduct home visits as well as make phones calls to check on families, all while obeying social distancing guidelines.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in the Dominican Republic

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours a week.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 attend the centre for six hours a week.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend the centre for four hours a week.
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Compassion Program Activities in the Dominican Republic

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Compassion assisted children in the Dominican Republic typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before or after school. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in the Dominican Republic.

Devotional time - Children are taught to pray.

Spiritual lessons - Children sing songs and learn Bible stories. Children in the Child Sponsorship Program generally receive their own Bible as they join the program.

Break and snack time - Children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

Social-emotional lessons - Children learn conflict resolution skills and how to develop healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

Lunch and social time - Children generally receive a nutritious meal every time they visit the centre. A typical meal could include pasta, rice, beans, chicken, wheat flour, oats, soup, meat, mashed potatoes, plantains, milk, chocolate, corn flakes, bread or sausages.

Health lessons - Children are taught practical health and hygiene tips.

Letter writing and career planning - Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests, setting realistic goals for their future.

In addition to Compassion’s curriculum, once or twice a year, students from different child development centres participate in a camping retreat. Older students participate in youth clubs for sport, art, income generation and reading. Parents and caregivers have opportunities to develop vocational skills such as baking, tailoring and computer literacy.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in the Dominican Republic

30%

of the population live below the poverty line

95

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

In the Dominican Republic, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and more children are vulnerable to child labour and other threats.

The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Claimed by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the island became a springboard for the Spanish conquest of South America and the Caribbean.

Spain recognised French control over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years, finally attaining independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. Tensions have simmered between the two nations since.

Historically, the Dominican Republic has relied on exports of sugar, coffee and tobacco. In recent years, however, the rapid development of the tourist industry and service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer.

While many have benefitted from this recent economic growth, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened. The poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of the GDP whilst the richest 10 per cent enjoy nearly 40 per cent.

In the past few decades, many Dominicans have flooded from rural areas to the cities. But without skills, families have struggled to get work—with devastating results for children.

Child labour is an ongoing problem in the Dominican Republic. Many families consider it essential for children to learn a trade, but too often they are denied an education and exploited in dangerous conditions. Many parents, desperate to improve the opportunities for their children, have been tricked into sending children away as domestic servants, or duped into prostitution and drug trafficking.

Yet local churches are working to reach the most vulnerable children with the practical, spiritual and emotional support they need to thrive.

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Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

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23 Apr, 2018

Have You Sent These Things to Your Sponsored Child?

Wondering what you can send to your sponsored child? Read on for the items you can include with your letters, plus learn what not to send... Read more