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September Updates

We resumed programming and projects in Constanza, expanded into a new city, signed on a like-minded local partner and brought more motivated individuals on-board!
Executive Summary

  • Constanza Programming Underway: We officially have resumed data collection in Constanza, collecting 250+ surveys in 3 new communities. Also, we have received another grant for an additional 250 hand-washing stations!
  • Santiago Expansion: We expanded our programming into a new geographical region of the DR--Santiago! Three locals have completed our volunteer training course and are already hard at work in their communities.
  • TECHO Partnership: We officially finalized our partnership with international nonprofit, TECHO. TECHO DR is based out of Santiago, where we will collaborate to meet community infrastructure and WaSH needs.
  • Friends of the DR Webinar: We participated in a COVID response webinar hosted by our partners at FDR. Learn more about it below!
  • UMSI Collaboration: The University of Michigan School of Information will be working with our tech team in order to build out a predictive analysis system that will enable us to easily prioritize community needs 
Constanza Programming
Pictured: Country Director, Crismary Gutierrez explaining our findings at community meeting & WaSH Director, Tiven Buggy, conducting water quality tests in Las Mercedes
On-ground operations have been on hold since March. After putting a COVID preventative plan together with our volunteer network and local colleagues, our Country Director decided to move forward with programming. Our team has worked hard to stay safe while surveying 255 people in 3 new communities. After prioritizing community needs, Tiven has been conducting soil percolation and water quality tests in order to find a community-based solution to their wastewater management situation. We are excited to continue collaborating with the amazing residents of Las Mercedes in the coming months. 
  • Hand-washing Stations: Our partners at FDR awarded a grant to continue our hand-washing initiative to distribute 250 stations in the coming months. Monitoring and evaluation surveys have shown that the first 130 stations have been a huge success:
    • 283+ individuals have improved methods for hand-washing and disease prevention
    • 100% of respondents use their new stations as their main source for hand-washing
    • 98% of respondents had functional hand-washing stations, stocked with soap and treated water 
 
Your donations have allowed us to find the need, implement a solution, and monitor the results. Help us continue this important work!
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Santiago Programming Expansion
Pictured: New volunteers Karen Cruz, Naileny Brito, and Luz Castillo at monument in Santiago | Naileny with Los Mangos neighborhood association president.
We have created a model that works. After having success with our volunteer programming model in Constanza, we have made the leap into a new geographical location. Santiago, DR, home to over 1 million Dominicans, is an ideal next location due to its growing rural population, local NGO network and an abundance of unmet needs. Over the past year, we have been solicited by 3 organizations and 5 communities to collaborate on a wide variety of projects in Santiago. Thanks to your support, we have the capability to drive change in new communities! 
 
Our local Santiago volunteers have already collected 100+ surveys and made key community introductions in the sector of Cien Fuegos, one of the most marginalized sectors in Santiago. Equally as exciting, we already have a new partner in the region!
  • TECHO Partnership: Last week, Crismary Gutierrez finalized our partnership agreement with international powerhouse, TECHO. TECHO, which means roof in Spanish, provides locals with quality housing infrastructure and community development education for host country nationals. Together, we will leverage our volunteer networks in order to expand the impact of our respective organizations. We could not be happier to work with such an amazing organization!
COVID Response Webinar
This past month, our very own Scott Coppa and Tiven Buggy participated in a virtual webinar hosted by our friends at FDR. We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to talk about our COVID response with the greater FDR network. Other panelists included TECHO, Wine to Water and Pathway Dominicana. To check out the video, click the link.
Other exciting news!
  • University of Michigan Science Information students will be working with Puente this semester to design a predictive analysis system that will enable us to better understand and prioritize community needs. We are always looking for motivated individuals to come on board, so if you or anyone you know is interested in helping, please feel free to reach out!
  • Our 2019-2020 Annual Report will be released this week! We are excited to share all of the work you helped make possible!
    • We will be hosting a virtual webinar to discuss our annual report, share future plans, and answer any questions you may have. Stay tuned for more information!
Please consider continuing to support our work! Our impact is being felt in 17+ communities and it would not have been possible without your help!
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Puente Desarrollo Internacional Inc. · 51181 Whitewater Ln · South Bend, IN 46628 · USA

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