DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Haitian immigrants receive healthy nutrition
Don Bosco Salesian Foundation distributes food shipment.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 14, 2023) Haitian immigrants and those living in poverty in the Dominican Republic received healthy nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
The shipment of rice-meals was sent to the Don Bosco Salesian Foundation and then distributed to nine centers during the second half of 2022. The recipients, who work most directly with Haitian immigrants, included Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Montalvo Center, Santo Domingo Savio School Home, Our Lady of Altagracia Parish, Scalabrinian Association, Association of People with Physical-Motor Disabilities, Villa Juana Parish, Corazon de Jesus (Family Ministry) and the Cruz Jiminian Foundation.
Due to the current political crisis, there are many Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. The donation of fortified rice has helped many families who are waiting for the necessary documentation to formalize their stay in the country.
In addition, many immigrants remain inside detention centers before they are deported back to Haiti. However, there is not enough space in the centers for all the people who are there. Receiving one meal a day is important for their health and provides great peace of mind for the authorities and organizations working with them.
The Don Bosco Salesian Foundation provided support for youth and families in vulnerable situations. The foundation has 16 centers across the National District, Santo Domingo East, Barahona, La Vega, Jarabacoa, Moca, Santiago and Mao.
Marimenia Antonia, who lives in the community of Las Rosas, is one of the recipients. She said, “This rice has helped us, not only for my family, but to be able to provide for the Haitian immigrants who are detained in the detention centers of the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Some spend up to two days detained and the Dominican authorities do not give them food, but through the Montalvo Center, we bring them food so they can have at least one meal daily.”
Nearly half of youth under the age of 18 live in poverty in the Dominican Republic, according to UNICEF. Although the country’s economy has been steadily improving, the country’s poor people still struggle to get enough food to eat and to access safe drinking water and adequate housing. Only 30 percent of youth finish primary school and only 18 percent finish secondary school on time. Schools are in poor shape with nearly half having no access to safe drinking water and more than 60 percent lacking adequate bathroom facilities.
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