Natalia Salazar, Clark University, F11: An evaluation of how the leadership of the art association Arte-a-Mano: How to strengthen to advance
This evaluation was conducted in Hoya de Caimito, Santiago, Dominican Republic in collaboration with the members of the art association, Arte-a-Mano. Through a series of direct observations, field notes, and questionnaires, the following objectives were measured: to determine the level of organizational structure, transparency, knowledge of roles and responsibilities within both the leadership and membership of the organization. It was determined that the organization has reached a semi-high level of organizational development, yet many of the members do not follow the bylaws or even have a copy of them. It was also discovered that Arte-a-Mano has a basic level of documentation and transparency. Lastly, it was discovered that that the majority of the members and organization as a whole depend largely on the leadership board for all functioning of the organization. It is recommended that the organization continue to find ways to increase transparency of information, make known (and follow) the bylaws, as well as continue with positive mindsets to involve more active members.
Lauren Rodgers, Southern Methodist University, F11: The Social, Emotional and Psychological Necessities of Siblings of Children with Disabilities
This research examines the social, emotional, psychological and educational necessities of siblings of children with disabilities in the area of Cienfuegos, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. It also determines the possible strategies to respond to the needs of the siblings. It was created in collaboration with Fundacion Cuidado Infantil Domincana, specifically the Rehabilitation Program, and the families of children with disabilities. FCID is a non-governmental organization that works in public health. This research took from previous studies that there was a lack of support for siblings of children with disabilities, and that possibly some of their needs were being overlooked.
The proposal of this study is to examine, through interviews and questionnaires, the viability of creating a support group for the siblings of disabled children. It also presents a sustainable plan and resource guide to begin the support group in the community of Cienfuegos.
Charlotte Kaye, Colorado College, F11: The School Ready to Grow: A Diagnostic of the Necessities of the Community School in Los Platanitos
This study was conducted in the Arturo Jimenes Community School in Los Platanitos, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic between August and December 2011. The study and a tangible project were created for the school in collaboration with the community organization, One Respe and the CIEE-Service Learning program. This report identifies, organizes and prioritizes the needs of the school; so that the school can function in a way that addresses the needs of the community during an economically stagnant time.
This research has three tiers. The first is centered on a qualitative evaluation of the basic pillars of a community school, in order to determine the base quality of One Respe’s work in the school. The second examines the concrete necessities for the school to continue growing and be successful. The third is a list of necessities in order of priority and cost.
There was evidence that the basic foundation of a community school were generally in place, but the school in Los Platanitos lacked two of the pillars to provide its students an academic environment. The results of the research show which necessities were lacking; these were then divided by category to better facilitate obtaining them. The study created the project of “Sponsor a School,” in order to find donations of the basic necessities for the community school.
Ellery Bob Kirkconnell, Oberlin College, F11: Late Declaration of Children, Adolescents and Adults in Hoyo de Pechula, Santiago, Dominican Repulic: The Environmental Influences Present in the Community
A birth certificate is the identity of a person, yet many people in the Dominican Republic, specifically Santiago de los Caballeros, are living without this important document. Not only does the government not recognize their existence, buy these individuals do not have the ability to enter public school, work in the public or private sectors, receive loans from the bank, participate in the public health system, purchase a house, vote and much more. The investigator had the opportunity to work with Acción Callejera, an educational foundation that works to educate and provide opportunities to street children, specifically working within the legal support program. The objective of this research was to determine what effects the environment has on the people living in the community of El Hoyo de Pechula, specifically in relation to their ability to obtain birth certificates. The tools used to collect data included interviews and direct observations of a sample of families living in Hoyo de Pechula. The results showed that the lack of financial resources and education led to 50% of the community not understanding the birth certificate laws and only 20% understanding the steps needed to obtain an official birth certificate. It is recommended that in the future Acción Callejera continue to assist these individuals, and individuals of other communities, in obtaining this essential documentation.
Kristina Buckingham, University of Denver, Colorado, F11: The Key for Future Educational Success: The Practices and Beliefs of the Mothers in the Early Stimulation Program in Regards to Early Literacy.
This research was carried out in collaboration with the Fundación Cuidado Infantil Dominicano (FCID), a community health foundation, specifically within their new program, Estimulación Temprana de Infantes Nacidos de Alto Riesgo (ETINAR) which works within the community to promote early childhood development for infants born in at-risk communities. This study examines the habits, experiences and understanding of 16 mothers in 5 communities of Santiago, Dominican Republic, in relation to the early literacy of their infants. The results of the questionnaires show that there is not a widespread custom of mothers in the program reading to their infants. It also showed that there was not sufficient information or emphasis placed on the importance of early literacy in young children. Finally, it showed that the lack of resources and access to reading materials was a notable obstacle for the mothers. Based on the results of this research, the investigator recommends that ETINAR continue providing information regarding the importance of early literacy and its essentiality for early childhood development to mothers in the communities in which FCID works. She also recommends that the program provide access to high quality, age appropriate reading materials in order to overcome this obstacle to practicing early literacy.
Courtney Newsome, Warren Wilson College, F11: The next steps to achievement: An evaluation of Lideres Defensores de Nuestro Pais, a leadership group for youth based in Niños con una Esperanza
From August to December 2011, youth from the organization Niños con una Esperanza (NCUE) in collaboration with CIEE formed the new group, Lideres Defensores de Nuestro Pais. At the beginning of the semester, the group created two main objectives: 1) to continue with the group throughout the semester and 2) develop and strengthen group members’ skills for the years to come. In order to achieve these two objectives it was necessary to collect all data and information on the purpose and the structure of the group. The research was conducted to understand the information and determine what would be the best possible next steps to continue the leadership program into the future. The objectives for the study include: 1) to better define the purpose of the group, 2) to determine what strategies can/should be used, 3) to determine an appropriate structure for the group, 4) to determine whether other people within NCUE can assist in the leadership program or assume a more involved role within the group and 5) to identify the available resources. The data was collected through interviews and questionnaires with the group members of Lideres Defensores de Nuestro Pais as well as staff members of NCUE, and participatory observation of the focus group. The results of the research indicate that the leadership program is the headed in the right direction, and with a few improvements will be able to develop further over the long term to continue achieving their potential as a group.
Nara Baker, Clark University, F11: Profiles of boys, girls, and adolescents in situations on the street in Santiago, Dominican Republic
During Fall 2011, a profile of children and adolescents working in five areas of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, was compiled through a series of structured questionnaires. The intention of the study was to better understand the problem of children living in the streets by compiling data about their lifestyles and circumstances. The emphasis of the study was placed on the generation of information that would be useful to develop an effective rehabilitation program in Accion Callejera, an educational foundation that provides support for children and adolescents in vulnerable situations. Accion Callejera uses the method of prevention and intervention with the idea that each child has the right to be human. The objectives were to identify and describe the tendencies of age, type of work, area of the city to prioritize the problems so that Accion Callejera can begin the rehabilitation. The research concludes that even though the services to rehabilitate the children and adolescents in the streets exist, they almost never go to Accion Callejera. It is necessary to broaden their outreach work because there is a high number of children and adolescents of high risk in the streets of Santiago.