Tropical Storm Franklin:
The Dominican Republic is facing another disaster just one week following the explosion in San Cristobal. Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall on Tuesday and the catastrophic rains have caused flooding, erosion and infrastructural damage.
We are on the streets working to assess areas of urgent need and to coordinate the distribution of supplies and aid.
Your help with these efforts is appreciated.
Explosion in San Cristobal:
At this time, Friends of Hope is on the ground at the explosion site looking for ways to put our resources to work. The Dominican Republic is a third world country and basic needs and services are often a daily challenge. Given the catastrophic nature of the circumstances, they are especially difficult to procure. An immediate need is water. If you can help us, please donate. We have a team on-site that is converting interest into action, as we speak.
Spotlight on New Joy
"A huge joy was being able to go to the Bateys and actually see the work of our D.I.K. partners there. One of those partners is New Joy Foundation. You know, you go into some of the Bateys and there can be kind of a, um, just a sadness... But you go into Batey 106, where New Joy Foundation is, and there's just this overwhelming sense of hope, particularly among the young people at that Batey. So, New Joy Foundation (or Fundacion Nueva Alegria) at the core, it was founded with the intention of giving youth education and training- like helping build them up in their dreams, so that they would have hope that their life can look different from the back-breaking work they have seen their parents do their whole life. Really just giving them hope and a vision for their future.
So they have classes so that they can learn skills like sewing, art, dance, drama, cutting hair, entrepreneurship, digital marketing. If a child dreams it then Liony Batista, who you see pictured here, he wants to help make that come true. Help support them and build them up and show them that they're not just like dust in the wind, that the Lord has a heart for them and a mind for them and that those desires are good. And just so many of the people we met, so many of the youth we met, were so articulate, so hopeful. They really had a vision for their life and they really believed that the Lord had His hand in their life, in large part due to the work of New Joy Foundation.
We came alongside this foundation around 2015. One of the things we sent was a large container of fabrics, and that was kind of one of the first classes that got going... was this 'Joy of Sewing' project, where girls would come and take that fabric and learn to sew little purses and things and then resell them. That started in 2015 and today, continues to be a class that's offered alongside all of these others, I mentioned earlier.
Another thing that is really beautiful is, New Joy Foundation also serves in a barrio in Santo Domingo. And so in Batey 106, it's a lot of Haitian immigrants. In the barrio, it's a lot of Dominican kids. Part of New Joy Foundation's vision is to really bring those groups together. And so every year, the Haitian and Dominican kids, they go to camp together. And the first time Liony and other leaders did it, the kids were a little reticent to it. Like, 'We don't know how this is gonna go.' but now, they're friends with each other. They look forward to it. It's a big part of their lives."
- Katie, Cross Catholic Outreach
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
“On a global scale, conflicts, humanitarian crises, socio-economic inequalities, and climate change are threatening livelihoods and leading to forced displacement, leaving millions of people worldwide exposed to the heightened risk of trafficking.
The theme of this year’s World Day is “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind”. and is a call to action in response to disturbing developments and trends of increasing ineffectiveness and impunity. To end the crime of human trafficking we must enhance our efforts to address root causes, identify and support victims, strengthen prevention, and end impunity.
We must be aware that trafficking happens everywhere, including in our streets, in our restaurants, in the products we buy, and in the services we consume. Let us remain vigilant and match our words with action to tackle this human rights crime.“
-Ambassador Neil Holland 27 July 2023
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2). It’s taken awhile, post-pandemic, for everyone to get fully back to normal. To focus again on the things that actually matter. It seems so much was lost during those dark days… but God’s goodness surpasses any and all situations. So it’s time to refocus. That’s why this summer we would like to once again get back to our youth camps in the mountains of Jarabacoa, far away from the bateys and barrios they are accustomed to. This year’s theme: Focus! Because we want the youth to again focus on the plans and purpose God has already designed for them. Three days/two nights, $85 per student. If you would like to join us and sponsor one of our youth, please donate.
-Liony Batista, Vice President
Stop Human Trafficking
January 2023 has been proclaimed “National Human Trafficking Prevention Month”
There are estimated to be more than 27.6 million people (adults and children) subjected to human trafficking around the world and 63% of those are women who are sold for exploitation.
Friends of Hope International has made this cause a priority, as so many encountered in our outreach efforts are at a higher risk of being victimized. Donations are being allocated to comprehensive health care, prevention education and psychological assistance, as well as the augmented awareness of male victims of human trafficking, for which services in many countries remain inadequate.
We are empowered by our donors and remain committed to expanding our work at their service.
It’s the fourth week of the new year and Friends of Hope is on the ground in Dominican Republic, preparing 1,000 boxes of joy to distribute to children in 5 barrios.
If you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time friend, we invite you to join us in this mission. Everything is of value. No amount is too small. Together we can continue to bring hope and relief to those who need it most. A special thank you to our partners in this rewarding work. We are nothing without you.
Crisis in Haiti
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has come to a near standstill. A coalition of gangs has seized control of the fuel terminals, a cholera outbreak has sickened more than 850,000, clean water is scarce and an estimated million people are starving.
The suggestion by several nations (including the U.S.) to intervene, by sending in a "multinational rapid action force" to free the fuel and essential supplies from the grip of the gangs has stalled, and the imposition of sanctions is now the interim solution as the U.N. seeks support for a more severe intervention.
While the distress call has captured the attention of the world, and the task of restoring security is the primary goal of the United Nations, volunteers at Friends of Hope in Dominican Republic (who shares a border with Haiti) are on the ground, mobilizing resources to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis, just miles away.
At this time, we are focusing our attention on reaching safe points of entry for the handoff of supplies; including but not limited to food, water and first aid. As such, we have officially added Haiti to the list of countries we support. Your donations at this time are critical to the preservation of life and survival, in a country that is in peril. Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your continued dedication to those in need.
Hurricane Ian’s devastating landfall has left millions of people displaced. Storm surges topped 12 feet causing at least a dozen deaths, flooding homes and closing off roadways. At last count, 1.2 million are without power in South Florida.
Search and rescue efforts continue by land and air as essential workers are racing to get to those who are injured, lost, or in need of critical care.
Friends of Hope is working with the Florida Disaster Relief Fund to direct the disbursement of resources to anyone in need. For the millions of Floridians stuck in the storm without electricity, this aid is urgent and vital.
Please help us to reach those who’ve been stricken by this catastrophic disaster by donating. Any contribution is essential and greatly appreciated. We stand with our partners and those impacted by the hurricane as we mobilize our efforts. Thank you for your support.