Impacted Last Year
Established in 2019, Mentors Dominican Republic serves some of the most at-risk communities in the region. Due to drastic income inequality, 32% of the population lives below the poverty line of $5.50 per day.
The Dominican Republic is also a source and destination for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. It’s estimated that between 60,000 and 100,000 women work as prostitutes. In addition, many families don’t have proper documentation, which prevents children from attending school and parents from applying for jobs.
Through partnerships with local organizations, we are able to help survivors of human trafficking, recent immigrants, and poverty-stricken families to achieve sustainable self-reliance.
We provide personalized training to help them make sound business and financial decisions, as well as classes that teach life skills and foster leadership and commitment. Mentees also receive ongoing mentorship and, if beneficial to their goals, will be able to receive small loans and other financial solutions that they otherwise would not have access to.
The COVID-19 outbreak is challenging the Dominican Republic’s ability to maintain stable economic growth. During the most recent quarter, the Dominican Republic government has taken steps to re-establish the economy and re-open various businesses after a lengthy shutdown. However, the country still continues with a curfew beginning at 9:00 PM on weekdays. Tourism, which is the country’s largest source of economic activity, has been reestablished, but at a much-reduced level compared to the pre-pandemic era. COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to be reported, although to a lesser extent.
A great majority of the individuals and families we serve were dedicated to the sale of a variety of products in the markets. Unfortunately, government authorities are still not authorizing the opening of the markets in a large-scale fashion. As a consequence, many of these entrepreneurs have had to dedicate themselves to other activities, such as selling vegetables at traffic lights and or preparing and selling food from corner kiosks. Some have chosen to sell their wares on the street and others have attempted to convert their homes into storefronts to sell their products in their local neighborhoods.
Our clients are strong and resilient. With the sustained support from Mentors International professional mentors and trainers, they have, in large measure, been able to continue to support their families and in many cases get ahead, during this very difficult time.