18 Dec Pathways to Impact: Seeking Sustainability With Community Development
We would like to introduce you to Julia.
Julia was born in Haiti but moved to the Dominican Republic with her family when she was fourteen years old. Her family moved in search of a better life, without so many of the hardships caused by poverty. Julia spent her entire adult life in the Dominican Republic, this was home to her. She found steady employment, started a family and built here life there. All until one day, when she was picked up on the street and deported back to Haiti because she had no legal documents proving residency in the Dominican Republic. She was able to send for two of her children and meet them at the border, but she still has two living in the Dominican Republic with her sister. She simply has not had the resources to have them come live with her. Before she was deported Julia would have been considered middle class. She had a thriving family and steady employment. She now lives in Fond Boyard a refugee community at the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. While she does her best to find ways to provide for her family here, there are no job opportunities that offer consistency.
This is why our Community Development Program exists. Through this Pathway, we are able to assess the needs of individuals and entire communities simultaneously. It is obvious to us that the entire community of Fond Boyard needs access to sustainable employment, and access to education for their children.
However, Julia’s needs don’t end there. She has a daughter who was diagnosed with microcephaly. Her condition will most likely delay or even prevent her from reaching many developmental milestones. Through our Community Development Program we have been able to connect Julia and her daughter excellent doctors, who are working hard to inform her of what to expect, as her sweet little one grows up.
On a greater scale, Community Development has allowed us to offer a job training program to the the community of Fond Boyard. Julia will be participating in this nine month paid training. She will learn everything from professionalism and money management to the technical skills of sandal making. Our goal is to see Julia and each member of her class gain full time employment upon graduation.
Employment is what is going to change lives in Fond Boyard, not only for Julia but for the entire community. This is a community that is lacking any sort of resources, or steady employment opportunites. When individuals have access to consistent income we see the economy of this little broader community grow. Families are now buying more locally grown veggies, rice, and meat, supporting the local merchants. Children are now attending school. Families are moving into more permanent housing. All these changes are made possible by access to employment.
We would not be working in Fond Boyard if it wasn’t for our Community Development Pathway. This is what allowed us to find a solution perfectly suited to this particular vulnerable community, and the individuals who call Fond Boyard home. When you give to the Community Development Pathway your gift goes directly to support job training, education, agricultural and health projects in Fond Boyard for refugees, and vulnerable individuals, impacting hundreds of people in the community.
Just remember, as you are reading this lives are being changed, families are being transformed, all because of access dignified employment, education, and medical care.
JOIN THE JOURNEY
Help us increase our impact by donating to our Community Development Pathway today.We are working to launch agriculture projects, along with extensive job training and education opportunities for people in the community. Our monthly giving community, Pathways to Impact, is the best way for you to directly get involved with the community of Fonds Bayard. Donating just $25 month can have an exponential impact and we hope that you join us!
Cover Photo: Joshua C. Johnson
Pathways to Impact Photo: Macbeth Studio