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One Child Matters serves almost 4,300 children in the Dominican Republic. It is a country of exquisite beauty and unique challenges. Why is ministry needed there? Here are a few reasons:
So-called “free unions,” where couples live together without the formality of marriage, are quite common and very unstable. In the communities we serve, the average number of children in each family is 5; however, these children are often from 2 or 3 different fathers. Blended families pose their own risks, as children from previous relationships may be rejected or neglected.
In urban areas, most adults work as street vendors or have low-paying part-time jobs that rarely provide enough for their families. Our more rural programs have seen families struggle to survive off the land. Our programs provide an element of stability for children, giving them access to nutritious snacks and educational support, easing the burden on parents who have so little.
A country's culture can shape our approach to ministry as much as the challenges children face.
Did you know?
With a Bible in its coat of arms, the Dominican Republic is the only country in the world with such explicit biblical symbol on its flag. In 2010, the Dominican constitution as amended to clarify elements of the coat of arms (seen at left), specifically that the Bible is turned to John 8:32, which says “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Due in part to its rich faith heritage, the Dominican Republic is receptive to our programs for children. Each of our 30 child development centers in the Dominican Republic is connected with a local church which helps reinforce the biblical values we teach. Often the children in our programs end up bringing their parents and siblings to church with them, multiplying the outreach in their communities.
Do you sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic? What would you like to know about your child’s country?