COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in the Dominican Republic

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in the Dominican Republic

Last Updated: 04/12/2021

COVID-19 infections are decreasing in the Dominican Republic, which reported an average of 321 new infections per day for the week prior to April 6. As of that date, the country had administered enough doses to fully vaccinate 5.1% of its 10.5 million people. A curfew is in place with differing hours on weekdays and weekends.

All Compassion child development centers are closed. Working from home, staff members are providing spiritual and emotional support to families, through phone calls, video calls and virtual methods. They have also delivered almost 188,000 food packs and nearly 92,000 hygiene kits, while complying with guidelines. They are also working with local doctors to facilitate telehealth calls with families and have helped provide medical support to almost 11,000 individuals. Mentors and tutors are keeping in touch with children and youth through online meetings and social media.

COVID response in the Dominican Republic

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Dominican Republic?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in the Dominican Republic, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in the Dominican Republic are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities, they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute almost 188,000 food packs and nearly 92,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in the Dominican Republic

child reading IconStory From the Field

“There were times when my children had to go to sleep without dinner or days where there was food but it was not enough for everyone, so I had to stop eating to give it to them,” says Yajaira, a mother of eight in the Dominican Republic.

Yajaira’s husband is a miner, but the hard, dangerous work only provides an income if he finds the semi-precious blue stones he is sent to mine. Even before the pandemic, life was tough, and their circumstances only became more difficult after March 2020. The health of the couple's 4-year-old son, Lucas, took a turn for the worse.

“When we visited Lucas, we saw that he looked too thin and weak. He had some skin lesions and was underweight for his age,” says Graikely, director of the Compassion center Lucas attends.

The center's doctor examined Lucas and discovered he was anemic and suffering from parasites due to the family's vulnerable situation. Compassion's partner took action.

“The center started providing them with foods and other goods right away. We had just received a donation of multivitamins and some sachets of nutrients to add to the children's meals, so we immediately assisted Lucas and his family,” says Graikely. “Also, whenever coupons or vouchers are handed out to exchange for food at the local grocery, the family is never left out.”

But the family’s care didn’t stop there. After confessing to Graikely about her lifelong dream to learn to read, Yajaira is on her way to achieving her goal by taking literacy classes. To help the family financially, the center has also employed the mother as the center's cleaning manager. With the money earned, she can help support her family.

“I thank God for this opportunity and for bringing the center into my kids' lives,” says Yajaira.

How can I pray for the Dominican Republic?

Please pray for the health and safety of children as families battle poverty made worse by the pandemic; pray that God would provide the daily resources they need and give them hope for the future. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in the Dominican Republic
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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