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Thursday
Aug062009

An update on the work done in the past in the DR

It was about five years ago that we started going to the Dominican Republic and about three years ago that we started focusing more strategically on Santa Rosa Bani. I thought it would be good to give an update on the work that has been done over the past three years. There are far more projects than listed below that we have done, as i am focusing on the major ones. (though if you want an update on something specific, let me know and i will add it).

Of courese, the projects we do are only a small part, Kingdom relationship is what matters the most. None the less, projects are tangible - so here is an update!

BRIDGE – It is still working great. This was a community project where a road was almost impassable and became dangerous. Senior adults, as well as others, were having trouble getting to their houses. Motorcycles, the primary form of transportation, could not cross. This was a goodwill project for the community to help show that the church cared about their needs. Winter 2007 Cornerstone mission team rebuilt the bridge.

BEDS & FURNITURE FROM TROPICAL STORM NOEL RELIEF – In the fall of 2007 Tropical storm Noel did considerable amount of damage to the region of Santa Rosa (sub part of Bani). Hundreds of homes and lives were lost, and those that made it lost almost everything. In December 2007 Cornerstone sent a disaster relief team to build beds, furniture and do home repair.

  • UPDATE – all of the beds and furniture are still in use! The home repairs are still holding well!

YOUTH CENTER - The youth center is their community outreach center. We painted it and connected water to the building to the cistern. We also set up a computer lab. 

  • UPDATE – the gym, which was located upstairs, no longer exist. (this was not a CCC project) They determined it was to much work and not effective use of their time. Instead they are trying to figure out way use it for the community. We had no part of the gym, but we could help with a new community outreach in the future. Building still looks great. Still used for activities for the community.

WELL – Three years ago Cornerstone did some creative fundraising to raise 20k for a well to be built in Santa Rosa. There was a serious problem of people not only drinking sewer water, but there was injustice in the clean water options. Water trucks would come through this squatter community and sell water at a very high price and often it was not trustworthy water, dirty water being billed as clean. The well, water purification system and building was built. Water is being sold at a fraction of the price and it is good clean water. The small profit is used to maintain the well, pay the workers (which helps the local economy) and help support the ministry. 

  • UPDATE: the well is still running well! Currently they produce 3000 gallons of water a month, though they can do 4500 gallons a month and are working toward that. At the current rate they are having a bit of trouble breaking even.
  • There is apparently is some nasty political stuff going on. The big water companies are feeling the pinch of small water companies popping up and selling the water at a third of the price. So they struck deals with politicians to create new health regulations such as everyone must have a $8000 water testing lab. The big companies this is small potatoes, for smaller companies it could put them under – which is the goal. So the faith based water projects are looking to network together, have a mutual name and have one lab between all of them. I will be working with Esdras during this process.
  • They do have specific needs to update the system. In part to meet some new government regulations and in part to become more effective.
    • The biggest need is for a new 12 kilos generator to replace the 5 kilos generator. . The current generator is running at maximum capacity and being pushed to hard. This will cost approximately $3500. Ironically, because this generator will be run on diesel, which is significantly cheaper than gas here, not to mention more efficient, it will be cheaper to run the larger generator There is a huge side benefit to this. The generator could be used for the school as well. Almost a third of any given day there are blackouts, always unannounced and unpredictable. Both the water business and school could run without interruption if they had this generator.
    • Secondly, they need a new motorcycle. If you have never seen an under resourced county, you have never seen how they deliver everything on motorcycles! For $600 they could get a delivery motorcycle to deliver the water to further locations, including selling to local shops.

WELL GARDEN -We built a walkway and garden leading up to the front door of the storefront for the well. Because the people have been lied to so much, they needed a professional appearance to build credibility.

 

  • o Update the construction we did still looks great! About 2/3rds of the garden is still vibrant. They need more concrete to help keep the dust down. Possible future project.

 

SCHOOL -August 2009 Cornerstone helped launch Agae’s new school. Elen is starting a school, now that the children from the preschool she operates out of her home are moving up. Pubic education is not good and private education is out of reach for the poor. She has already hired committed teachers who will work at a rate to keep the cost down. The hope is for 120 children. It will cost less than $15/ month per child for a ten month year. (Actually that is still out of reach for many children so we will set up a scholarship fund) The teachers have or are working on a degree and have the government-required curriculum. Our workshops were addressing questions like: How do you keep the classroom environment creative? How do you keep things moving with short attention spans? What do you do with children with disabilities? How do you run a chapel? What are creative ways to teach math and creative reading? What is the best way to do classroom planning? And more. We had 17 participants, some from Elen’s school and the rest as a way to help teachers of the community. They responded very was very positive, it was a significant boost to the start of the school program. We also did painting and construction work to help fix the school up.

 

  • o Update – We should consider setting up a scholarship for children for this new school. It cost only $16,000 a year to educate all 120 children.

 

BELOW ARE THE NEEDS HIGHLIGHTED -

  • We should consider setting up a scholarship for children for this new school. It cost only $16,000 ($150/ child) a year to educate all 120 children.
  • Generator for well and school $3500
  • Delivery motorcycle for the well water $600
  • Concrete construction in front of the school

Again - let me know if you want other updates!

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