Looking back over the last 4 years it is exciting to see the growth and expansion that has taken place for Mentors International in the Dominican Republic.
In April of 2019, the legal papers were signed and Mentors International officially opened a new branch in the Dominican Republic. We started with one AMAZING country director named Ruth.
Through her passion, strength, and determination she has grown our programs and helped over a thousand families grow in greater self-reliance.
Under the leadership of Ruth, we now have seven Mentors and teachers working for us in the Dominican Republic. They teach business development courses, as well as vocational courses including English, Sales and Customer Service, Microsoft Suite, Graphic Design, and Keystone. We also provide micro-loans, where appropriate, to help these deserving entrepreneurs grow their businesses in the Dominican Republic.
Since our beginning in the Dominican Republic, we have helped over 350 individuals develop and grow their small businesses, and over 1,000 students, of all ages, have completed our job-focused vocational training programs.
On January 14, 2022, we celebrated the opening of our new Center of Education and Mentoring in this country. This new center is centrally located where many families can readily access our facilities. Our classrooms and computers will support our students as they develop new in-demand skills.
Over 80 people attended this open house. Many local government and ecclesiastic leaders were in attendance, including the directors of the Welfare and Self-Reliant Services for this region. Everyone is very supportive of our programs and grateful for the many opportunities our center will bring to this poor region of the world.
Our new Center for Education and Mentoring will allow us to reach even more families, not only in the Dominican Republic but position us to virtually provide our programs throughout the Caribbean nations.
Ruth Martes, Country Director – Mentors International Dominican Republic
“This new Center for Education and Mentoring is a great blessing to the lives of many people, especially for those who do not have the tools at home (internet, laptop, PC, etc) to be able to learn a vocational course. These students can use our resources to improve their skills.
Word is spreading. Students and mentees are telling everyone they know about Mentors International and our new Center for Education and Mentoring. People are stopping by and learning about what we do. The interest and demand for our services and programs are growing exponentially.
We have a greater opportunity to serve. Meeting together face-to-face at our center allows us to serve the community more easily.
We have hired local mentors and teachers. Our entire team is very committed to Mentors International and our mission to help lift others out of poverty. Our staff is very keen to help students, even those not from their classes when there is a question or a need.
We will still offer classes virtually and operate in a hybrid method so those who live outside the city and are unable to visit our new Center for Education and Mentoring can have the opportunity to improve.
We have grown in our community, throughout the city, and beyond. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful organization that is dedicated to helping families escape the poverty that has plagued our country.”
Curtis Oscarson – Chairman of the Board
“Mentors International’s rapid progress in the Dominican Republic perfectly illustrates the way that we come together to serve. Some of our amazing volunteers worked faithfully to find bright and energetic leaders and mentors, to train and inspire them, and to find and secure an efficient and ideal operating space. Others contributed needed funds, and yet others are providing networking, support, and coaching. Considering the short time that we have been working there, it is a miracle to see the many families that are already being blessed through individual mentoring, training, and financial tools.”
Elder Gary J. Coleman – Emeritus Member of the Quorum of the Seventy
“I was overjoyed at being with my dear friends and associates of the Caribbean Area Presidency, Stake Presidents, other local civic leaders, and their spouses, as they participated in the open house for Mentors International in the Dominican Republic. Their presence and the sweet spirit of acceptance of the mentoring there this past year was an absolute joyous affirmation of their support and desire to share in the success of Mentors International’s pioneering efforts to bless our Heavenly Father’s children in reaching temporal and spiritual self-reliance as individuals and families.”