Our Work

We are currently working with two organizations in the Dominican Republic that house, feed and educate approximately 150 girls between the ages of 6 and 17. These girls come from some of the poorest neighborhoods of Santo Domingo and without aid they would have little hope of a productive future.


Current Projects

 
 

nourish-them-thb Malnutrition can describe a body weight that is lower than normal for age, a lower height than normal for age, being dangerously thin or displaying vitamin and/or mineral deficiency. Malnutrition, especially among children, is an obstacle that prevents individuals and even societies from developing their full potential.

While the Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean, the vast majority of the money brought to the island via tourism is shared among a relatively small percentage of the population. As such, there are many areas of the country that suffer from significant poverty and malnutrition.

According to the State of the World’s Children Report for 2007, between the years 1998-2005 some 11% of all Dominican babies were born with a low birth weight, with roughly the same percentage suffering from moderate to severe, chronic malnutrition. However, the girls at the two homes supported by Here For Them currently have much higher rates of malnutrition. About 67% of the girls at Doña Chucha are classified as malnourished, with the girls at Hogar Altagracia suffering from much higher percentages of malnutrition than the Dominican average as well.

Click for details of the Nourish Them Project >

 

moringa-project1a The Moringa plant, native to Africa and Asia, is cultivated in many parts of the developing world because it grows quickly and has a high nutritional content. The seeds and leaves are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals. Gram for gram, Moringa leaves have 2 times the protein of yogurt, 4 times the calcium of milk, the same amount of potassium as bananas, the same amount of vitamin A as carrots, and 3 times the vitamin C of oranges. The fast-growing Moringa plant can be harvested multiple times per year and also combats deforestation.

In our efforts to enhance the nutrition of the girls we support in the Dominican Republic, Here For Them raised funds to grow and plant Moringa saplings on leased farmland in 2012. Unfortunately, the first planting was seriously disrupted – as were a great many things on the island – by Hurricane Sandy in late October. Later in the year, Moringa plantings were reseeded on the land, and funds raised by Here For Them were used to harvest and prepare the leaves for use as nutritional supplements.

Click for details of the Moringa Project >

 

Past Projects

 
 

haiti-project-thbIn response to the tragic earthquake of 2010, we provided food and medical supplies to some of the millions of Haitians who had fled to the Dominican Republic. Living in makeshift shelters and villages, they had no access to food, clean water, or desperately needed medicine.

We were on the ground in January 2010 providing medicine, supplies, and food to 70 refugees, many of them child amputees, and then again in April 2010 in a village where nearly 200 Haitians had settled outside Santo Domingo.

 

…aka Russ’s Kitchen

russ-kitchenWith nearly half of the population of the Dominican Republic living below the poverty level and a widening gap between the rich and poor, it is more important than ever that girls have an opportunity to be employed in one of the growing sectors of the economy such as tourism or providing basic services such as food prep and other essentials. Recent fundraising efforts went toward building a retail bakery and teaching kitchen at the home for older girls, Altagracia. The goals of this project were to provide bread for consumption at both homes, to sell bread in the community at a low cost – both to feed those in need and generate income for the homes – and to provide a training center where the girls can learn baking and culinary skills. We are proud to announce that Panaderia Tio Russ officially opened for business on February 29, 2012! 

 

vearasHere For Them supplied equipment, educational materials and connections with U.S. based companies for making soap, candles and other products from local Dominican materials. The goals of the Veares Project were to generate revenue for the girls by selling these essential products in local malls and other shopping centers, and to provide the girls with another opportunity to learn job skills and gain small business experience.