Health Care Clinics Help Kids Thrive

Story and photos by Kalis Parra, Dominican Republic Field Content Specialist

Child Champions in the Dominican Republic organize health care clinics in vulnerable communities so kids in hard places can survive – and thrive.

Children’s height and weight are checked to make sure they are meeting developmental milestones.

Health care in developed countries usually is part of normal life, but in developing countries like the Dominican Republic, it is a luxury that families living in poverty cannot afford.

That is why Child Champions at Hope Centers in the communities of Brisas del Este and Los Minas offer periodical health care clinics to their kids.

Child Champions believe in a better future for these impoverished communities, which are dangerous places to live.

They are willing to do what is necessary to make the changes kids need to thrive and to show them hope and love.

They understand that health support is critical to proper child development.

“Our vision when we decided to have a periodic medical clinic in our community was to take deep care of all the children that have health problems who haven’t received the right health care,” says Angela Pineda, director of the Intervencion Intengral Para la Ninez Hope Center in Los Minas.

“Most of the time their parents just give them a medicine without taking them to the doctor. Our goal is to protect these children and raise awareness among parents about the importance of the health of their children.”

About 200 children received basic medical assistance from pediatricians during two recent health clinics. Doctors checked their weight, height, and temperature.

Pameli’s heartbeat is checked.

In most cases, this was the child’s first-ever medical checkup by a doctor. Each child’s health was evaluated, and a report was created to have on file. Some were referred to a specialist for additional care.

“My family is so blessed by this Hope Center,” says Anilki Carvajal, whose son, Elahian, is a sponsored child at the Intervencion Intengral Para la Ninez ope Center.

“My son is not in school yet, but by coming here he has learned so many things, and the most important thing is my son is happy here. In this community there’s not good activities such as this medical clinic for the children. They evaluate our kids and give us medicine. The Hope Center is a blessing for all of us.”

Pamela Lagare, mother of Pameli, a sponsored girl at Reino Para la Ninez Hope Center in Brisas del Este, shares what the Hope Center and medical clinic mean to her family.

“It helps me a lot to know that they care about my daughter’s health,” she says. “I can’t always take her to the doctor, so this is a wonderful opportunity. Here they also give us medicine that I can’t afford for her.”

The community of Brisas del Este is rife with poverty, delinquency, bad influences, and prostitution. The Hope Center is bringing hope and light to the dark reality that children are living there.

“As a mother, I feel good in general because at the Hope Center my daughter receives more education than I can give her,” Pamela adds.

“She is in a safe and healthy environment away from the streets. Here the kids heard about God, kids are restored and learn and receive tools that can help them stay away from the streets.

“As a mother, I don’t want my girl to go through what I’ve been through in this community. I want what is best for her. She wants to be a doctor, and the Hope Center gives us hope. I know they will support her and encourage her as I do.”

Files on each child’s health are created or updated, and then filed.

Both medical clinics were such an incredible opportunity, not just for the families to receive medical help but also for the sponsored children to put into action the gift of serving they are learning in their Hope Center.

This was an opportunity for them to give back a little of what they’ve received from their Hope Center. Child Champions encourage them to serve, and during the clinics they were assisting by filling out the documentation needed in the pharmacy and organizing files.

“I love serving the kids,” says Chaldalis Rosario, a teenager who helped in the pharmacy and also helps her mother who serves as a tutor in her Hope Center. “I grew up in this church and I’ve been serving here with my mom for several years.”

Pameli and her mom Pamela attend the clinic.

Chardalis shares why she’s motivated to serve the youngest kids from her Hope Center.

“I feel good when I teach them, and they learn. In our community we face so many bad things. Drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and the bad choices made by the parents are hurting and affecting the kids, but I want to help them be better.”

Chardalis’ dream for the future is to become a marine biologist, but her dream for now is that her Hope Center can grow and continue serving her community.

“My dream is to have a bigger Hope Center where the kids can be comfortable and safe,” she says.

Your gift to OneChild’s Partners Fund will be used where it’s most needed to open and expand more Hope Centers, meet more critical needs, serve more kids, and bring more hope to hard places!

See how Child Champions step in to save a boy left to die in his village:

 

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