“Forgotten” Communities Now Have a Plan
Long-standing community organizations in “forgotten” villages near the border with Haiti will be getting welcome attention from Church World Service and local partner SSID, in a new three-year phase of the former Dominican Republic Bateyes program.
These communities lack opportunities and basic infrastructure, so people often have to walk miles to a crossroads to catch the once-daily bus service to jobs in larger towns. Women’s Associations have long been the mainstay of these small villages because, according to Francia, an association president, “Women must always find something to put on our children’s plates.” Communal vegetable gardens sometimes have enough surplus to sell for income, but the efforts are continually at risk from natural or human-caused disaster.
Training for the roughly 250 members of 12 mostly-female community organizations in seven villages will focus on financial literacy, business skills, and learning about specific agricultural techniques to better provide for their families. The program’s goal is to help them become more food secure and to build their knowledge and confidence so that successful vegetable endeavors will become the norm rather than the exception. The expert trainers from SSID will be leading workshops and offering advice as the associations’ members plant vegetables together and gain the skills required to start other self-sustaining, income-generating activities.
Sofía, another association president, says “I believe this program will strengthen the unity among our group so we can achieve more together.”
Dominican Republic San Juan and Dajabón Program (formerly Bateyes)
Led by Church World Service and Local Partner SSID