Help an Orphan
Help an Orphan
A great many of our guests have contributed to our cause over the last two years, and tell us repeatedly that we should make our efforts known to everyone. BUT, this is in no way a solicitation for donations and is the reason up until this point we have kept it kind of “under wraps” it is merely an FYI, because we have so many tell us on a weekly basis “I wish we would have known”.
So here it is, our cause and what we are trying to do.
EDUCATION in the DR
When you hear about the Dominican Republic you may think of white sands, turquoise water and beautiful resorts. It is true that a part of the island is a vacation destination and tourism is a big part of the economy, but there is more than the average traveler ever sees or hears about. Drive away from the beaches inland and you will discover another side to the Dominican lifestyle such as living in a house made of tin and dirt floors with no running water. Many homes have no or little electricity or indoor plumbing. It is common for people in their daily routines to bathe or wash their clothes in a tub or the local canal. The cooking is done outside on a fire. Many children beg or shine shoes to help provide for their families and an education is only a dream for most. About 8 percent of young people age 15 to 24 are illiterate. Census data from 2010 indicates 762,000 young people between 15 and 29—33 percent of the population—had not completed basic education. Some 913,000 of 20- to 29-year-olds—62 percent—had not finished secondary school. Many drop out of school at age 12 or 13 because they need to earn money for their families, according to World Bank. If you’re young and poor in the Dominican Republic, chances are slim that you’ll finish secondary school and get a steady job. Consequently you’ll be caught in a poverty trap. That’s the case for thousands of young people in this Caribbean nation that shares an island with Haiti. The latest official poverty data shows that more than a third of the country’s total population lives in poverty, and almost 20 per cent are living in extreme poverty. In rural areas poor people constitute half of the population.
Many, many of the children in orphanages really aren’t orphans, they are there because their parent’s cannot afford to take care of them and the majority are 5th and 6th generation orphans with parents. When the children are old enough to leave the orphanage they have few skills and very little education to allow them to get jobs that pay well enough to support a family, so when they have children, the only choice is to give them to an orphanage to be raised the same way they were, resulting in another generation of orphaned kids with parents.
We are planning to break that cycle by educating children in the orphanages and also by teaching them trade skills that will enable them to have a place in their society and earn a decent wage to support their own children.
We have so many generous people throughout the United States wanting to donate clothing, school supplies, sports equipment etc. However, what we have to pay for shipping those supplies here is not cost effective. For example, a 10ft shipping container costs upwards of $3,200.00, which is way, way out of our budget.
What may be at least a partial solution, would be to have every family visiting the Island on vacation, to bring donated items and leave them at the hotel where they stay, for us to pick up and distribute.
“Our Ultimate Goal”
Our long term goal is to build a totally self contained orphanage of our own. A facility equipped with classrooms, gym, church, as well as a shop to enable us to teach the kids all the building trades on-site. Ideally we will start with facilities to house approximately around 40 to 50 kids but want it to be expandable to a few hundred. We also want to establish a college fund for those with the desire to further their education . We are currently searching for property to secure so when the funds are in place we can start construction or renovation immediately. But, in the meantime we are using donations to help out other area orphanages with money for food, and donated items like school supplies, clothing, etc.
Again, certainly not a requirement by any means, but any help, even 2 or 3 small items, is greatly appreciated.
MR. & Mrs. BULLDOG