A New Home After the Fire

By Kalis Parra, Dominican Republic Field Communications Specialist   |  Photos by Kalis Parra

After a fire destroyed their home in the Dominican Republic, the family of a sponsored boy relied on family and neighbors to help them survive. Then OneChild’s Children’s Crisis Fund stepped in, and the family wound up with a new, safe refuge to call home.

It was a quiet morning in September 2018. Wilsin, a sponsored child in the Dominican Republic, and his family were cleaning the back yard as usual when Wilsin’s mom, Yofani, received a call from her brother inviting them to their mother´s house for lunch. They left the house, but what they never imagined was what would happen shortly after they left.

About 30 minutes after leaving, Wilsin’s mom received a call from one of their neighbors with the news that their house was on fire.

Wilsin and his mother outside their new home.

They raced back to the house, hoping they would get there in time to rescue something. But by the time they and the firefighters arrived, it was too late. Everything was destroyed. The only things they didn’t lose were the clothes they were wearing. Firefighters concluded that a short circuit in the home’s wiring caused the fire. For most families living in poverty, repairing something as simple as faulty wiring is not within their means.

The following days were devastating for Wilsin´s family. Yofani is a 32-year-old housewife who takes care of her two children while her husband, Jose, works at a chlorine company. He didn’t make nearly enough money to rebuild their home. So, the family spent four months living in a small room at Wilsin’s grandma´s house, relying on relatives and neighbors to help them out.

When Child Champions at Wilsin’s Hope Center, Mision Valiente, heard about the family’s situation, they rallied around them, explaining that the Children’s Crisis Fund was created to provide relief in emergencies like this. The Child Champions wanted to help by providing the family with the labor and supplies necessary to rebuild their house.

OneChild’s Children’s Crisis Fund was created for the hardest of times in the hardest of places, where sponsored children and their families struggle to get by following a disaster.

Thanks to Child Champions, Wilsin and his family have a new place to call home.

Thanks to the support of OneChild donors who give to this fund, the family was able to finish construction of a two-room home in which they now live.

“I’m still a little bit sad for what happened because the day we lost our house I also lost my bicycle,” Wilsin recalls. “Riding my bicycle was my favorite thing, but I’m grateful because the Hope Center helped me and my family to have a house again.”

Yofani admits that that year “was one of the hardest years of our lives, yet we saw miracles happen in an incredible way.”

“I feel more than grateful with the support of the Hope Center because, thanks to them, we can finally have a house again,” she says.

“My family and I will always be indebted to OneChild, the Hope Center, and the donors that made the Children’s Crisis Fund possible. Thanks to your generosity, my kids have a safe place to go after school. Your generosity impacted our lives in an incredible way.”

Help us respond to families like Wilsin’s, who face hard times following a disaster. Give to the Children’s Crisis Fund today!

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Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)