Mar 22, 2021

A great challenge for The Bienvenido Project

The first few months of the new year have been a great challenge for The Bienvenido Project FUNFONAVI, our donors have been generous and our team has done very well.

 

  • We go to the kid's houses to help them with their homework.
  • Tutors teach children with Tablets to participate in their virtual classes.
  • The feeding program increased from 150 to 180 meals per day, which children take home-cooked.
  • A group of young people brought cakes, candies, and soda to the project's kids.
  • We have 2 new members in our volunteer's team.

 

Thanks to the GlobalGiving family, The Bienvenido Project FUNFONAVI keeps growing and serving our community... And we are going for more!

Nov 24, 2020

How YOU are helping change lives!!!

Many of us started this year filled with excitement, looking forward to seeing our dreams fulfilled without having any idea that something so unexpected would change everything, everywhere, and for everyone. For the people in Bienvenido, this was no different. 

As soon as the Dominican government announced schools would need to use an online platform, we were genuinely concerned for the children in Bienvenido. Why? If you have been following our journey you know how important education is in preventing violence, drug use, and sexual abuse. It is also a vital piece in offering hope of a life beyond poverty. Therefore, we could not afford to let the kids in our program miss a year of school.

While an inner-city family might not struggle to have their kids attend online classes, this is not the reality of a child that lives on the outskirts in one of the most impoverished parts of Santo Domingo.  The instability of electricity and lack of internet, and devices to connect to it, are the norm in Bienvenido. Taking action to keep these kids in school was necessary, so we created a plan that would allow them to receive high-quality instruction while following all safety regulations.

First, we made arrangements to allow in-person and online tutoring for our youngest children which participate in the Early Education Program. These children visit our project for class two days a week; one group of six students come on Monday and Wednesday, and another group of six on Tuesday and Thursday. This program is vital because many of the participants have never attended school before. It is our privilege to be part of their journey as first-time students walking towards freedom and self-empowerment through learning.

The second part of our plan allows over 20 elementary students to attend their virtual classes using the internet and new computers and tablets available at The Bienvenido Project. Tutors are also available during this time to help assist any child who needs it.

And finally, children in both the Early Education Program and Elementary School receive breakfast and lunch every day without exception. Having a full stomach makes it so much easier to focus on learning! 

What we've been able to accomplish this year, on such short notice, could not have happened without YOU! We especially want to thank BNP Paribas (and specifically Susie, Berenice, and Patricia) who hosted a virtual fundraiser for our program, and Jodi and Aaron who also spearheaded raising funds for this year's educational programs. Enough funds were raised to provide 61 scholarships (11 more than our goal!), increase our internet speed and stability at the project, AND purchase 20 tablets. Your generosity this year blew us away and allowed us to offer hope to so many children who would otherwise never receive an education. THANK YOU!!!

We've been able to make such big strides in Bienvenido this year, but our work is not done. As children moved from the school building into their homes a new challenge has presented itself. Many parents are unable to read or write leaving them unable to support their children in their studies. So, in January 2021, we will be starting a brand new literacy program for the parents! This initiative will not only aid the children of Bienvenido in their studies, but also open up new opportunities to their parents. December 1st, #GivingTuesday, we'll be sharing more on how to amplify your support of this initiative through an opportunity to earn a portion of $1,000,000. Stay tuned!



Sep 21, 2020

Our new normal...for now!

On July 20th, the President of the Dominican Republic issued a new state of emergency for the country. In Santo Domingo, where our project is located, a curfew has been in place from 7pm to 5am Monday to Friday and 5pm to 5am on Saturdays and Sundays. This has become our new normal.

Like much of the world, we have anxiously been awaiting an ease in restrictions. We are so ready to open the doors of our project again! Now a month past the normal start date for school, we have also been waiting to hear the country's education plan. As of Friday, September 18, the latest news is that the country's schools will be fully remote beginning October 11. This was a huge shock as we work in a country where few have reliable electricity let alone computers and the internet. Next week, we will be meeting with the private school we partner with for our school scholarship program to learn more. We will then be able to assess the needs in our community and develop a plan for how to move forward. Although we don't have the specifics yet, we know we will need your help!

There is still much to celebrate, though, and thanks to your faithful support we have been able to keep the families in our community from experiencing starvation. Twice last month, 135 parents received a bag of food filled with rice, beans, cooking oil, milk, pasta, flour, and other staple items. These same individuals also attended a seminar on COVID-19 Preventive Health and Hygiene which was led by a Bioanalyst who is currently working with COVID19 tests and is a survivor of the disease herself. At the end of this event, hygiene kits were distributed with hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, masks, and vinegar to use for cleaning. More than 600 individuals will benefit from the food and hygiene kits that were provided to these parents!

To continue helping us keep the families in Bienvenido from going hungry, please keep donating to our COVID-19 relief efforts. Every dollar makes a difference!

We hope you and your family are well, and are learning to celebrate the "wins" amidst so much uncertainty and hardship!

On behalf of The Bienvenido Project,

Laura Collazo

United States Coordinator

 
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