Stand By Me

Dominican Republic

Despite being a popular holiday destination, the Dominican Republic is a country steeped in poverty – major advances in the tourism industry have only added further to the divide between the rich and poor. High unemployment remains a serious problem and many children do not have access to a basic education or simple healthcare. There are over 220,000 orphaned children on this small island and thousands suffer from malnutrition.

1995

David Spurdle met Juana and Ramon, who were educating children in a chicken shed. David partnered with Ramon and Juana, to fund the oversubscribed school

1996

The construction of the quality, hurricane-resistant Eva Russell School began. Volunteer teams from the UK built additional classrooms every summer

1998

Hurricane George hit Monte Plata. We sent two containers full with clothing, food and school supplies for the victims and we rebuilt the houses of four families

2004

A campsite was purchased for the school to host yearly summer camps allowing hundreds of local children to have fun and enjoy nutritious meals

2004

Ramon and Juana witnessed the needs of orphaned and at risk children and we helped them respond by building the safe and loving Casa Monte Plata homes

2010

When the Haiti earthquake hit, our staff in the Dominican Republic travelled to Haiti to provide essential food, water, shelter and medical care

2015

The Eva Russell School added two Kindergarten classrooms to complete the purpose built and fully functional building

2015

Over 3,000 children have received a great education at the Eva Russell School. Many have gone on to achieve their dreams in their careers and family life

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Wilbert and his two sisters lived with their mum in a notoriously dangerous neighbourhood. The three siblings shared a bed in the living area of the house and although conditions were inadequate, they were a happy family. They were heartbroken when their mum found out she had terminal cancer. 

Their father returned to help, but after their mum passed away, his long work hours meant that he was unable to offer them the care or protection they needed. So he brought the children to our Casa Monte Plata.

Wilbert is a bright boy who loves to play sport. Safe in their new home, Wilbert and his two sisters have been able to remember the happy memories of their mum while knowing they are secure, protected and loved.

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Jean Carlos’s father is in prison with a 15 year sentence for murder. 

His mother met the father of her third child while working in a brothel, and sadly he is not a kind man. With barely any income for the family, food is scarce at home. When he first came to our school, Jean Carlos had a hard time getting along with other children. Now he puts all his effort into learning to read and write and has lots of friends to play marbles with at recess. He has a special interest in animals, especially bugs and he is growing in health as he gets to eat a nutritious meal every day, something he doesn’t get at home.

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