May 26, 2020

Covid-19 Update

When the coronavirus made it's way to the Dominican Republic, and restrictions and safety precoctions required us to cease our normal operations, our biggest concern was how to keep the children in Bienvenido from going hungry. For many in our feeding program, the meal they eat with us is often the only they will eat for the day. And for familes who were able to provide some form of nutrition for their children, their meager earnings became non-existent when they were no longer able to sell their goods in the streets.

We quickly worked to re-organize our efforts and ensure we were doing everything possible to keep children and their families from starving in Bienvenido. You can read in detail about our Covid-19 support work, but in brief, we partnered with a local store to create customer accounts for families in Bienvenido. Our goal is to provide 800 pesos (aproximately $15 USD) to 150 families twice a month.

Thanks to the financials gifts of many through our new project on GlobalGiving and local Dominican Institiutions, we have been able to support 105 families. Just this week we were able to set up a booth at a local store and 143 individuals stoped to donate food to be distributed in Bienvenido. We hope to soon be able to share that all 150 families are being supported.

All of us at The Bienvenido Project hope you and your loved ones are healthy, and that all of your own needs are being met. We know this is such a diificult time for those around the world. In the same way you have kept us in your thoughts, you are in ours as well. You're part of our team, and whether we know you personally or not, we care for you!

Mar 20, 2020

Promotores Adolescentes: A Health Science Camp

Hello supporters of The Bienvenido Project, 

My name is Cassidy Gallagher and I am very excited to tell you about what I have planned with The Bienvenido Project for this upcoming May. We are hosting the Promotores Adolescentes program, a four-week health sciences summer camp for adolescents in Bienvenido! The focus of the program is Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health (ASRH) and will include educational workshops, skills training, and community engagement projects surrounding related ASRH themes (eg. sexually-transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS). The program is planned to take place May 4th and May 28th with the goal of sending 25 adolescents to participate. The purpose of this program is to educate and empower youth to tackle the sexual health problems that teens in Bienvenido face, while simultaneously learning about a wide range of community health topics. Activities will include: Health Education Workshops, Nursing Skills Training, Leadership & Personal Development Workshops, Community Health Projects, Professional & Career Development Workshops, Field trips to academic and health institutions, and Community Day to celebrate the accomplishments of program participants. 

In order to prepare for this amazing program, we are dedicating the upcoming GlobalGiving’s 2020 March Little by Little Matching Campaign towards raising funds for the Promotores Adolescentes camp. The campaign will run from Monday March 23 - Friday August 27. All donations up to $50 will be matched 50% and/or new monthly donations will be matched 100%. We would appreciate any and all support that you have to offer in order to make the Promotores Adolescentes program an interactive, inspiring, and truly unforgettable experience for all the teens participating! 

A little more about me, I am a junior nursing student from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing with a double minor in Global Health & Hispanic Studies. You may remember me from my independent project that I conducted in Bienvenido last June 2019, conducting research on the main health problems within the community. After analyzing the data we collected, I have decided, in accordance with the stellar leadership at The Bienvenido Project, to return this summer with the focus on researching Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health (ASRH) in Bienvenido. My research project aims to measure the outcomes of the Promotores Adolescentes program and its ability to empower youth to promote ASRH within the community. By doing this, I hope that the adolescents can target the social determinants associated with the high rate of problems—such as HIV/AIDS, STIs, teenage pregnancy, prostitution, substance use—and implement small-scale projects in the community to solve some of these issues. This research project is very exciting as it is placing the responsibility to find solutions to these issues in the hands of the youth, the true agents of change for the future. We hope that adolescents who participate in this program will feel empowered in their roles as community health promoters (“promotores adolescentes”) and continue to encourage the people of Bienvenido to adopt healthy behaviors and lifestyles for generations to come. 

Feb 10, 2020

Looking forward to a new year!

It’s hard to believe February is already here... Happy (belated) New Year!!! There are two events we want to share with you before we get too far into 2020. Enjoy!!!

On December 21, 500 children, in four shifts, were fed a traditional Dominican holiday meal and then sent on their way with a bag of candies, grapes, and an apple. The dance team also put on a show during each round of meals, and the youth recognized individuals to thank them for their dedication to the project. Like every year, it was day filled with so much excitement! If you'd like to see more from this event, please check out this video on our Facebook page.

From January 19 to 23, we had a team from Grand Rapids, MI come to visit. They have been supporters of our project for almost 10 years, and their visits are always filled with so much love and fun for the kids. We especially appreciated their repair work at the project this trip. It was much needed and aided in creating a much more welcoming environment.

We look forward to another year of partnership with all of YOU, our supporters. As we always say, and truly believe, we couldn’t do what we do without you.

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