The SDOP Intermediary partnership in Dominican Republic
By Teresa Bidart
It has been nine years since SDOP, through members of its International Task Force and staff started visiting the Dominican Republic (DR). This was the beginning of SDOP selecting one country to engage in intentional and focused funding while still working with intermediary partners in other countries. The DR was selected as the first country of focused country.
In 2007, SDOP launched the Pilot Project in the Dominican Republic. Thousands of Dominican and Haitian-Dominican people have directly benefited from our funding. Lives and communities have changed drastically, for the better.
From 2007 to 2009 SDOP established partnerships with 13 groups including Solidarity for Women Development Center CE-MUJER, 6 Women Federations, 3 Farmers Associations, a youth group, a Federation of community organizations, ,an Eco-system group, and with two Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that works closely with bateyes in the Dominican Republic: The Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) and the Movement for Haitian-Dominican Women (MUDHA). Working with these two intermediary organizations SDOP engaged in partnership with seven batey communities. Batey communities are shantytowns originally founded by the Dominican government in the late 1800s so that laborers, primarily Haitians brought from Haiti, would be available to work on sugar cane plantations. The partnership with MUDHA and BRA centered on bringing clean water to the bateyes. We invested $758,909 in economically poor communities in the country. And though we do not normally provide emergency funds $190,636 was provided to our partners affected by the impact of a Tropical Storm Noel in 2007. See List of funded groups from 2007 to 2009.
Pictures of projects funded
Though the Pilot Project ended in 2009, our work in the DR did not stop. Because of their outstanding work with community groups and their incalculable support to SDOP during this period CE-MUJER was asked to serve as an intermediary partner. The first funding cycle was approved for 3 years starting in 2010.
In their first year as intermediary partner CE-MUJER funded 4 associations: Fisherman Association of Los Guineos, in Laguna Limom; Women United by Faith in Sabana de la Mar; Sor Ines de la Jaqueta Women Association in El Valle Municipality, and Women Solidarity Federation in Sabana de la Mar. These projects strengthened the communities in many ways, including business management, organizational work, agricultural marketing, and improved the living conditions of families through rotating loans. The funding to CE-MUJER was for $50,000.
In their second year they expanded their operation and started funding groups located in the south of the country. This time they funded 8 associations: Faith, Hope, and Charity Women Association, located in Las Yayitas, Azua Province; Board of Women Mama Tingo, El Carril Municipality; Fighter Women in Development Angelica Garo Association, located at El Cachon, Barahona Municipality; Neighborhood Board of Carolina Rubio, Las Salinas Municipality, Barahona; Cooperative Group La Milagrosa, La Canoa community in Barahona province; Organized Women Marina Sepulveda in Penon Barahona; New Hope Association in La Barrera, Azua province; New effort, La Barrera community in Azua province. All the projects were funded to improve the family living conditions by increasing rotating fund businesses. The funding to CE-MUJER was for $50,000.They stated in their second year report “The alliance CE-MUJER - SDOP represent an opportunity for CE-MUJER to support other areas very affected by poverty.” See List of funded groups from 2011 to 2013.
In 2013 The Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of People approved an additional 3 years for funding to CE-MUJER.
SDOP is very proud to this partnership with CE-MUJER and look forward to our continued partnership with economic poor and disadvantage people in the country as they struggle for their dignity, human rights, and economic justice.