Dominican Republic

¡Hola! I’m Yan Sang, and I started my journey with OneChild in September 2016. I am honored to serve as the Country Director in the Dominican Republic, and the Child Champions here are so thankful for the love you show our children!

As COVID-19 contamination levels differ from community to community, restrictions around in-person gatherings are still being enforced to different degrees in the Dominican Republic. Child Champions, who are still masking up and using sanitizer to be safe, have continued to serve the children by providing recorded lessons, communicating via WhatsApp, and offering smaller group sessions where allowed.

One church has been handing out food relief packages each week, much to the surprise of local teens who voiced their wonder at such generosity. And several of our Hope Centers have reached out to local food banks to supplement what OneChild has already provided. But one thing is clear: Children miss being with their friends and are eager to return to the playgrounds at their centers!

Hope Centers here are more than a place to learn. In this safe and welcoming environment, children are given freedom to share how they feel about the program, and their suggestions and wishes are taken into consideration. Any accomplishments, whether big or small, are celebrated, documented, and publicly recognized. And the adults mentoring them provide a good experience by listening, being transparent, and keeping their promises.

Because of this example, children are thriving, and entire families are being impacted. Many parents encounter God through the prayers their kids lead before meals. And even if caregivers cannot participate in Hope Center activities due to the nature of their jobs, they have come to rely on the partnership with Child Champions in providing healthy discipline and a consistent model of good behavior that carries over into the home.

With this combined support from the adults in their lives, children are completing vocational training courses and starting their own small businesses once they graduate from their Hope Centers. Young men open barbershops and find jobs using their technical skills, while young women run hair and nail salons — immediately implementing what they have learned in class to generate income to help their families.

But this is not their final destination. Many work these and other jobs so that they can afford to go to college and gain even more opportunities. And the reason they are able to do that is because they have been given HOPE. Through support, prayers, and encouraging messages, children feel important and heard — and believe a better tomorrow is possible.

If you know anyone who wants to challenge a child to set goals and have the confidence to achieve them, to have assurance in God’s love and their own worth, and to make their small piece of the world not such a hard place to be, please encourage them to go here and become a sponsor.

Hope in Him,

Yan Sang

Country Director, Dominican Republic

About The Dominican Republic

Child Champions in the Dominican Republic tell us about their country.

The Dominican Republic is a country that occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island of Hispaniola. A place of beauty and color, it boasts scenic tree-covered mountains and lovely white-sand beaches along with sugarcane fields, a variety of traditional cuisine, local music, and a deep love for the game of baseball. The people are friendly and charismatic with the ability to express joy even during difficult times. And this resilience is sorely needed because in the Dominican Republic, there is a vast rift between the privileged and the poor.

Most of the slums are located in the middle of cities where employment is low, crime rates are high, and crowded homes are constructed from a mixture of low-quality materials. The air is filled with the smell of decay, and black water runs down garbage-lined streets. Many households have simple electronics but no access to education or enough food to eat. The strain of deprivation often leads to neighbors taking out their anger and depression on one another, resulting in yelling, name-calling, and other acts of hurtfulness and disrespect. And the children caught up in the midst of these difficulties are the ones who suffer most.

OneChild is committed to bringing hope to the hard places, which in the Dominican means going to areas near larger cities but that remain underrepresented because basic services, educational opportunities, and ways to earn a livable income either do not reach them or are being withheld. OneChild’s dedicated Child Champions represent “hope in the flesh” in this space by going where no one else will.

 

Dominican Republic Hope Centers

 

Child Champions at OneChild’s Hope Centers in the Dominican Republic are given the freedom to work within their local context, selecting appropriate resources and using them according to the level of need in the surrounding community. The program follows this model, supplying what children and families need in any given moment. For example, OneChild in the Dominican Republic prepares kids for higher education, offers adolescents life-skills courses, and helps families of sponsored children by providing quality day care. OneChild also provides food relief and the opportunity to hear the gospel. In this way, we’re able to serve the whole child and give them the best chance at a better life. Most of all, kids are shown daily examples of God’s love, which gives them the best reason to HOPE.

 

Future opportunities for the children and youths in the Dominican Republic are the key to the success of the country. And with educational, vocational, socio-emotional, and spiritual guidance from OneChild, the next generation can thrive.

We are accountable to the children we serve AND to our donors.

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)