The Community Challenge Fund (CCF) is designed to help poorer communities in the DR to build basic infrastructure projects, including but not limited to water supply systems, electrification, cement floors, improved smokeless wood stoves, latrines, schools, libraries, sports courts, and economic development projects. CCF provides funding for 10-15 community projects a year with a maximum project grant of $5000. A total of 123 projects have been funded through 2020, for a total investment of almost $336,000. Eligible projects must include a community contribution of at least 25 percent, often in the form of sweat equity and some construction materials. Active involvement by both Peace Corps Volunteers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community groups is required and a plan for sustaining the project must be demonstrated.
How the fund works
Peace Corps Volunteers and NGOs work with local community leaders to identify needs and priorities. They then work with the community to plan and organize the project, calling in technical help as needed (for example to test water quality). If found to be feasible, the project is planned, and local funding is committed. The community leaders, with the help of the Peace Corps Volunteer or NGO, prepare an application for Community Challenge Fund (CCF) for up to $5000 per grant. The application is then submitted to FDR’s CCF Project committee. The CCF Project committee reviews and approves projects meeting the program criteria. Once approved, funds are released to Peace Corps Dominican Republic or the NGO and used to purchase materials or skilled labor. The Volunteer or NGO then assists the community during construction, monitors the project and funds, and provided a final report on the project.
How you can help
The Community Challenge Fund is a sustainable fund that, through low-risk investments, is able to fund about 5 to 10 projects a year. But the need is much greater, and our goal is to make 10 to 15 grants each year, thereby helping more poor Dominicans. Your contribution is essential to help us meet that goal. Due to in-kind administrative donations, 100% of contributions designated to the Community Challenge Fund go directly to project costs (materials and technical labor), making your gift, large or small, go a long way.
If you have questions, you can contact the CCF's Manager, John Epler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.