Last Updated: 24/09/2020

The Dominican Republic still has the highest coronavirus infection rate among Caribbean countries, and the country has recently been battered by tropical storms and hurricanes. News reports indicate that the health care system is strained and hospitals are on the verge of overflow. This increase began shortly after the country began a reopening in July aimed to boost the tourism industry, which many in the country rely on for survival. The national state of emergency has been extended to at least the end of September.

All Compassion child development centers are closed. Staff members are providing physical and emotional support to families, including the delivery of 98,022 food packs and 35,5757 hygiene kits, while complying with guidelines. They are also working with local doctors to facilitate telehealth calls with families and have helped provide medical support to 2,301 individuals. Centers are holding online video classes. Partner churches are providing video sermons, online prayer services and counseling by phone.

A Message From Compassion Dominican Republic's Manager of Supporter Engagement

Hear from Compassion's Jonathan Almonte, Manager of Supporter Engagement for Dominican Republic, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in the Dominican Republic.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Dominican Republic?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in the Dominican Republic, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in the Dominican Republic are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are working to create virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams. They continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 98,022 food packs and 35,5757 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

At this point, we are not able to safely deliver letters to children registered at Compassion centers in the Dominican Republic. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in the Dominican Republic. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Miguelina struggled to survive as a housecleaner even before COVID-19 hit the Dominican Republic. But as the government began to impose strict quarantine and curfew guidelines to curb the spread of the virus, Miguelina was soon utterly unable to provide for her two children, her parents and her grandmother — each of whom relied on her for everything

“Everything fell down when I found out about the pandemic,” says Miguelina. “Because of social distancing, I was not able to work, and I knew that at some point the food was going to run out. We were concerned, but my daughter Nicol and I had hoped that at some point the center would come to help us. They have always been with us in many difficult situations, and we knew that this would not be different.”

The family rationed the little food they had for 10 days. They were just about to run out when Yanitza, the director of Nicol’s child development center, arrived with bags of groceries.

“When Nicol saw me walking on the alley on the way to her house, she started jumping, and I heard her shouting, ‘You see, Mom. I told you the center would never let us down.’ The joy spread. The whole family was excited, praising God and jumping of joy,” says Yanitza.

Nicol and her family now regularly receive food baskets from the Compassion center. Thanks to the support of faithful sponsors and donors, the center is able to ensure that each child feels seen, loved and cared for.

How can I pray for the Dominican Republic?

Pray for wisdom for those who work in the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic. As tourism increases, pray for safety for workers and that they do not bring the virus home to their families and communities.

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