Community Overview: Quisqueya is a municipality of the San Pedro de Macoris Province in the southeastern part of the Dominican Republic, about 60 miles east of Santo Domingo. Commerce there is mostly agriculture, specifically sugar cane. Some people migrate to the city seasonally to work as domestics and in construction. Quisqueya is surrounded by thousands of square acres of sugar cane plantations. Sugar cane workers are usually men and women predominantly from Haiti. They are underpaid and do not receive any benefits from their employer. In one of the communities we discovered a group of 10 female workers who were paid $4 dollars to share among themselves as remuneration for cutting cane in a specific field. The people live in small shanty villages called “bateyes.” Many of these lack basic amenities such as indoor plumbing or electricity. The distance from the bateyes to the town of Quisqueya often prohibits parents from being able to transport sick children for medical help.
The overwhelming problems facing the people on the bateyes are malnutrition, the lack of access to medicines and health services, and lack of access to clean water sources and proper water sanitation and hygiene (latrines).
Service Area Population: Approximately 8,600 live on the Quisqueya bateyes.
Project Partner: The Daughters of Charity
The Daughters of Charity serve the poor and marginalized in many different types of ministry such as healthcare, social services, teaching, counseling, prisons, and many other ministries. They have a deep passion for changing the world one person at a time. In the U.S. the Daughters founded what has become the largest non-profit health system in the country. They are an international community of over 19,000 women in more than 90 countries.
Project Overview: Prior to the mobile clinic run by the Daughters of Charity, almost none of the Haitians living in the batey communities had access to basic healthcare. With the collaboration and support of MFH, the mobile clinic now visits each batey twice a month, there are trained community health workers in each batey, and no child has died from malnutrition in the last year on any of the bateyes.
Additionally, MFH and the Daughters of Charity have worked to implement a WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) health program to bolster our efforts to reduce child mortality in 42 batey communities of Quisqueya. Through education and improvements to infrastructure, the program aims to build the capacity of these communities to combat poor water quality, and promote sanitation and hygiene.