A place to study
Floors for homes
Sanitary waste disposal
A healthy life.
Friends of the Dominican Republic has recently supported projects in the communities of La Descubierta, La Gotera and Los Ulveros, located in the northern hills near Altamira. These communities came together to build an aqueduct to bring drinking water to 80 households. But what they gained was far more than the physical project that was completed with the help of a $2,500 Challenge Fund grant. While the project solved a long-standing problem, it also strengthened the community in several ways.
Each family contributed 30 days of work on the project as members of volunteer brigades. Building the water storage tanks and laying the seven kilometers of PCV pipe provided the brigade members with both technical skills and community team-building skills. They also learned technical skills such as the use of new ferro-cement technology taught by the PCV and the use of plumbing, masonry and carpentry tools. They also learned the importance of project sustainability. To this end, each family is maintaining a monthly family quota fee for repairs and replacement of the system.
Perhaps the most important, community members gained skills in project planning, organization and team-building, and gained confidence in their ability to undertake community projects. As evidence, following the completion of the project, community members used their skills to build a community center entirely on their own without outside resources. The women that contributed to the project are currently working together to create a small bakery business and develop a community gardens project.