"El Puerto" is located in the province of San Pedro de Macoris, in Dominican Republic. Founded between 1900 and 1902, it counts about 7000 inhabitants.
The main activities of this community are livestock, (in minority group) and cultivation (including sugar cane). Most of people are only self-sufficient but some of them are able to leave the city to sell their productions. Lands are owned mostly by the CEA (Consejo Estata del Azucar: the state council of Sugar) which are exploited by powerful and rich owners.
In most of the other lands, irrigation system is lacking, which make the culture dependant of nature. The yields of crops and income generated are irregular, explaining the inequalities in the population.
Daughters of Charity lead the educational center called “The Milagrosa” from primary classes, secondary school and high school. As the majority of the establishment, the average age is high because the learning process is difficult and the rate of absenteeism is important.
The life of children and teenager is difficult in this community. Lots of them don’t live in a stable environment with their parents. At best, they live in single-parent family or with host family. This explains why they spend lots of time in the street and work in the lands (the "conucos").
Daughters of Charity welcome them in their center, offering them quality training and an awareness about Christian values. Because they produce sugar cane, people are used to eat sugary food. However, they are not used to take care of themselves and many of them do not know about oral health.
Health inequalities are in correlation with social inequalities. Lots of children and teenagers suffer from their younger age of dental cavities, throat infections, sensitive gums and teeth extractions…
When students get toothaches, they also get fever and miss school for a long time which makes it impossible to follow the courses.
Another problem is that the food can be quite hard for some of the student, to chew, they are deprived of food at school. This situation is frustrating causing a low self esteem. Added this to their elocution difficulties, they feel rejected by others which can lead to violence.
They parents or legal guardian renounce to the treatments because of they cannot afford them. Unfortunately, there is no health care system, and hygiene is not a priority. These young people never consulted a dentist and they are not aware of dental care.
We plan to give a particular attention to the dental health of 30 children and teenagers of the center so that they can grow in better physical, educational and social conditions.
This project aims at educate children and teenager on the importance of hygiene and particularly on dental health to improve their life.
We will ask family to take part at this essential project. This will permit to the most deprived student to be more confident and accepted by the others.
Thank you in advance for your generosity besides sister Ysabel
and to the young people that Sisters of charity support daily
Sister Ysabel is born 43 years ago in Peralvillo in Dominican Republic. She is sister of charity since the 27th of November 2002, date in which she also joined the association. She is graduated in education and worked as director in many schools of the community. She is actually and since less than one year working as director, in a school located in a poor village of San Pedro of Macoris . She is a very active person who is concerned about the wellness of the children.