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

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

Last Updated: 10/19/2020

The Dominican Republic still has the highest coronavirus infection rate among Caribbean countries, and the country has been battered this year by tropical storms and hurricanes. COVID-19 cases began to increase shortly after the country began a reopening in July aimed to boost the tourism industry, which many in the country rely on for survival. However, the government reported that numbers seemed to decrease in August. The country has reported 120,000 positive cases.

All Compassion child development centers are closed. Staff members are providing physical and emotional support to families, including the delivery of 98,022 food packs and 35,5757 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 2,301 individuals. Centers are holding online video classes. Partner churches are providing video sermons, online prayer services and counseling by phone.

COVID response in the Dominican Republic

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. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in the Dominican Republic are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are working to create virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams. They 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 98,022 food packs and 35,5757 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in the Dominican Republic

child reading IconStory From the Field

Five-year-old Obed couldn’t wait to go to his church’s vacation Bible school for the first time! And his mother, Rocio, was equally excited to see her little boy learn more about God. But when COVID-19 swept through the Dominican Republic, vacation Bible school (VBS) seemed impossible.

But the church partner that runs Obed’s Compassion center wasn’t ready to give up. They spent weeks planning their very first virtual summer VBS, titled “Overcoming Fear.”

"'Overcoming Fear' was not a coincidence,” says the center's lead tutor, Yamiset. “The VBS is based on Daniel's life, showing the children and everyone who tuned in some of the difficulties he faced and how God helped him overcome them. To our surprise, the first video had over four hundred views on the first day, and the children responded excellently to the activities we proposed."

Obed's family was one of the more than 400 who enjoyed spending time learning to be brave just like Daniel. The church staff received continual, encouraging messages about how the week was more than just a spiritual activity — it was a week of families creating memories together, even more cherished because of the challenges the pandemic had created.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of fear, instability and insecurity to our children and their families," says Yamiset. "Through this VBS, we wanted to show that these circumstances they are going through, caused by the pandemic, can be overcome if they trust God."

How can I pray for the Dominican Republic?

Pray that God’s peace, comfort and provision will be with families as they recover and rebuild after the storms that have battered the Dominican Republic this year. 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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