We've reached our goal!
May 22, 2016
BENEFITING: YSPANIOLA INCORPORATED
Your generous donations will be used to support a non-profit organization in the Dominican Republic, Yspaniola. Yspaniola will use the funds to help support some of the major programs they run in a community called Batey Libertad. These programs include: a learning center, scholarship program, and local teacher-training. A small portion of these funds will also cover shipping costs for in-kind donations to the Dominican Republic.
In January 2016, a small group of students from The City College of New York visited Batey Libertad. Bateys are former sugar-cane plantation communities mostly inhabited by Dominicans and Dominicans of Haitian ancestry.
Batey Libertad seemed to be a microcosm for the state of many Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitians in the country. The community was also a look into the ways Dominicans of Haitian ancestry have lived on the margins of the Dominican Republic for many decades. With limited access to necessities such as running water and electricity, the residents of Batey Libertad seem to have created an informal network of support; but even this is not enough. Fortunately, Batey Libertad has a relationship with Yspaniola, a US-Dominican educational non-profit organization that has provided the community support for over 10 years.
Yspaniola is a small organization, with limited resources, doing challenging and important work. I personally witnessed the dedication and care of their staff, many of whom are from Batey Libertad itself, as they taught Spanish literacy and created opportunities in the community.
In addition to the financial support, there is also an in-kind donation drive. We are collecting books, which you can purchase here, and other items for the mothers of the students who study in Yspaniola's Learning Center. The goods will be presented to the mothers living in the Batey at an event celebrating Dominican Mother’s Day at the end of May. Along with books, we are requesting the following items:
-small first-aid kits
-small gifts for the mother (body splash, culturally specific make-up, nail polish, new or lightly used hand bags, etc.)
There will be two major drop off locations throughout New York City:
The International Studies Program within The City College of New York
NAC 6/293, Amsterdam Ave and 136th street.
Crown Heights at Nostrand and St. John's Place
Please contact Jonathan DiMaio (firstname.lastname@example.org) to drop off resources at this location
Please visit www.yspaniola.org to read more about Yspaniola's work, vision, and ways to be involved. The photographs on this page are from my visit in January, as well as Yspaniola's media about their work. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about the fundraiser, and thank you for considering supporting this work that means so much to me.
Griselda and The Libertad Team