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Welcome to Helping Children Rebuild: We invite you to join us in our efforts to help children rebuild their lives, families, homes, communities, health and well being.

Helping the Children

We hope that as you browse our website that our mission goal will encourage you to want to get involved. We have many ways you can help our efforts. You can join us on our volunteer mission trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. You will experience the joy as you help to change a child's life. Another way is to donate items or money to our projects that will help change lives, including your own.

HELPING CHILDREN REBUILD IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

In spite of the Dominican Republic's popularity among international tourists, many Dominican families are facing a life in poverty. Many families are living below poverty standards so many children are put in orphanages or abandoned. Because the Dominican Republic is on the second largest Island in the Caribbean we felt like we needed to start somewhere, so we have chosen to work with the children and their families in and around Puerto Plata and a Haitian Village just outside of town. Our mission is to help Children and their Families Rebuild their Lives, their Homes. their Schools, their communities as well as their Health and Hygiene needs.

Photo of boys
Two happy boys goofing around in the Haitian Village.

The Dominican Republic forms part of the Antilles.

It covers the oriental side of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean. Neighboring Haiti occupies the other part of Hispaniola, making the island one of only two in the Caribbean that is shared by two states.

In 1844, the Dominican Republic became an independent nation when a group of revolutionaries seized power from the Haitian rulers of Hispaniola. Remarkably, independence was won long before the abolishment of slavery in the region and the decolonization of other Caribbean islands.

The Dominican Republic is mainly inhabited by people of mixed European and African origins. Santo Domingo, the country's capital, is a melting pot of cultures. Many foreign visitors travel to the Dominican Republic for vacation. Tourism therefore accounts for an important share of the country's gross domestic product. The total population of the Dominican Republic is roughly 10 million.


Photo of People Waiting
Families waiting in line all day to see volunteer doctors.

Statistics

Area: 18,815 square miles; Population: about 10,000,000; Capital: Santo Domingo; Language: Spanish; Independence Day: February 27, 1844; Religion: Catholic 95%, other 5%; currency: Dominican Peso $38.85501 pesos = $1.00 USD ( July 2012 est.) Unemployment: is very high

Widespread poverty remain pressing challenges

Like many other countries in the region, the Dominican Republic remains marked by persistent socio-economic inequality: there is a big divide between the rich and the poor. Among 177 countries, the Dominican Republic is ranked 88th by the Human Development Index (HDI).

Poverty remains a widespread phenomenon in the Dominican Republic. Approximately one fifth of all Dominicans live in shacks, the vast majority of them without access to running water, proper sanitation and electricity. Roughly 20 per cent of the Dominican Republic's population are struggling to make a living on less than two US dollars a day. In a country that is home to hundreds of luxury tourist resorts, one in five citizens is chronically undernourished.

Situation of the children in the Dominican Republic

The combination of widespread, structural poverty and a comparatively high HIV rate particularly affect the country's most vulnerable segment of population: Dominican children. More than one million children in the Dominican Republic live in poverty and roughly 578,000 children under the age of 15 are without parental care. Around 20 per cent of them are orphans. Among the most relevant factors that increase the likelihood of a child losing parental care are: child pregnancy, chronic diseases such as HIV, mental or physical disabilities and prison sentences of the child's parents.

Children whose parents have contracted the HIV virus suffer the effects of economic hardship. Additionally, their families are often being discriminated against and stigmatized. A high number of children become orphans because their parents die from AIDS. Many of these children end up in the streets where they face a life under precarious circumstances. In order to survive, they are forced to work and give up school. The Dominican Republic Child Labor survey indicates that roughly 15% of all Dominican children aged 5-14 are engaged in labor activities. As soon as they stop going to school, their lives are often marked by a vicious circle of drugs, crime and violence. Approximately 17,000 children who participate in the labor force do so without attending school. The percentage is particularly high for boys and for children who live in rural areas.

People and Country
A Beautiful country with great potential and a people willing to improve.

The country is very green with rolling green hills, trees and a lot of farm land. The streets in the towns and in rural areas are very clean. Most Dominicans want to improve their lives and families if given the opportunity and are not just looking for a hand out. Most are very friendly. Education is very important to most Dominicans and as many children that are able will go to school will go, but most are not able or allowed to go for economic reasons, If the children are given the opportunity to go to school and not have to help prove for their family, they will take it. Many of the children and adults will attend school that is provided for free by volunteers from outside the country.

Three area photos
More of the country with people willing to help improve.

Health, Hygiene needs and well being

The government does provide some help for medical and health to some of the population, but cannot afford medical help for everyone. Because many are not able to go to school they do not get the proper education in hygiene. This causes many of the problems with diseases.

This is where Helping Children Rebuild and you as a volunteer can help

We have trips planned for 2013 now, and will continue to add them in the future (See "New Trips" for details). We are looking for more Medical Doctors, Dentists, Eye Doctors, along with any staff or friends who would be willing to donate their time and go with us.

Your cost will be a Tax Deductible Donation of $1,100.00, plus Air Fare. The donation will cover Hotel accommodations, three meals per day, ground transportation to and from the airport, clinics, Milk Ministry for 200 children, as well as interpreters for the whole mission.

If you want to join us on a future trip, please fill out the following Application Form.

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You can make a difference in children's lives that need our help and at the same time make a difference in your life by joining us on this volunteer medical mission. If you are interested, but do not have any experience in the medical or dental field, we can still use you, you just need to be willing to help.

Medical Trip
These Photos are from our 2011 medical trip to Haiti. We provided medical and dental care for the children.