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Spring 2011

Lila Trowbridge, Clark University, S11: The understanding of and implementation of values through the youth leadership program “Líderes Defensores de Nuestro País” within Niños con una Esperanza in La Mosca, Cienfuegos

 For youth living in the marginalized community of Cienfuegos, Dominican Republic, where there are high levels of unemployment, drug use, and teenage pregnancy, it is difficult to not get caught up in the surrounding negative environment and even more difficult to take the initiative to be a leader and promote positive change.  This research focuses on the lives of eight students (ages 10-17) of Niños con una Esperanza, an after-school tutoring program for at-risk youth in La Mosca, Cienfuegos.  The main objective of the study was to obtain information regarding the ways in which these students learn and realize their interests, attitudes, and abilities in leadership within their community.  Through direct observation and the administration of questionnaires to both the students and their parents, the results were obtained.  It was found that the there was a lack of recognition, on the parents’ part, of the importance of these adolescent years and a perception of the adolescents as delinquents that lack values.  It was made clear that there is a large need within Cienfuegos to pay attention to the growth and development of young people during these crucial years.  On the other hand, it was also determined that the youth leadership program Líderes Defensores de Nuestro País is a positive force in determining values and personal development.  It is recommended that the program find specific projects for the youth to work on, find a consistent mentor of the program and involve more students to ensure the program´s future success.



Alexandra Panagore, Clark University, S11: The role of the siblings of children with disabilities in the lives of the children with disabilities: Their responsibilities and effects

 This study examines the roles of siblings in the lives of children with disabilities and the effects of these roles in the Santiago region of the Dominican Republic. It was carried out in collaboration with members of the Dominican Child Care Foundation (FCID), specifically the rehabilitation program, and participating families of children with disabilities. The purpose of this research was to examine the role of siblings in the lives of children with disabilities, and therefore to raise awareness to the issues faced with these children caring for their siblings. The results of questionnaires completed by siblings ​​between the ages of twelve and eighteen demonstrate family problems regarding the feelings between the siblings and their responsibilities. A correlation between parents’ free time and their levels of responsibilities at home was determined.  It was likewise determined that the parents need a balance between their own lives and the lives of their children with disabilities and without disabilities. Recommendations for parents and FCID include a support group for siblings of children with disabilities and ideas of balancing time between family members.



Kendra O’Connor, George Washington University, S11: You are what you eat: A study of the nutritional health state of the children of Los Prados

 The following research is a study of the nutritional health of children in the community of Los Prados, Santiago, Dominican Republic.  It was realized by the investigator in collaboration with the community-based center of primary healthcare Juan XXII and the supervisor and health promoters in Los Prados.  The nutritional state of 72 children ages 3 to 8 was classified after medical examinations.  The objective was to analyze the social factors associated with child malnutrition as identified by interviews with 34 mothers.  The social factors determined to have the strongest connection with incidents of malnutrition include the age of the mother during childbirth, their marital status, their food sources and their lack of understanding of basic nutrition.  As a result of this research, a nutrition club was formed to facilitate the access to this crucial information in Los Prados.


Jacob Taddy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, S11: A study to discover the best possible option for the classification of Arte a Mano

Arte a Mano is an artisan association based in the Northeast sector of Santiago. This study researches the best possible option for the association as it prepares to take its next step as either a business, cooperative, or a non-governmental organization. Furthermore, this study explores the requisites necessary for each step needed in the application process. The purpose of this research is to identify and establish agreed upon statues that will hold the association accountable. Secondly, it intends to present all possible options that the group can take in achieving its end goals. The study shows that the classification as a cooperative would best meet the objectives of the artisan group; however, in order to achieve this classification the statues must be revised signed and ratified. Therefore, the study recommends the complete revision and consensus on the statues to be signed into regulation in addition to a trained professional to come and talk about what it means for the artisans to become a cooperative in order for group members to make the best possible decision on the future of the groups classification as an organization. 


Celia Arias, Simmons College, S11: Late Registration for children, adolescents, and adults in Hoyo de Puchula, Santiago Dominican Republic: The economic, social and psychological barriers.

 The documentation of a person is extremely important for their participation in society. It is difficult to prove a person’s name and nationality with no legal documentation to verify that he/she is registered to the State. From February until April 2011 research was conducted in the sector of Hoyo de Puchula, Santiago, Dominican Republic to identify why a large number of parents do not possess legal documents for their children. This study analyzes the economic barriers and the social and psychological impacts that the fathers, mothers and guardians face in obtaining birth certificates for themselves and their children. The research concluded that although there exists the option of applying for late declaration, the process is complicated because of fees, pre-requisites and a lack of economic resources to complete the process. With this conclusion, steps were taken to facilitate and then introduce community members to the process of applying for late declaration. The result was a number of projects to escort the parents and guardians to four different registration offices of Santiago, the office of Asuntos Pedaneos of the city council where they verify children that are not registered under the mayor of Santiago. These activities support the late declaration program of Accion Callejera who works to register children and stresses the importance that birth certificates have in granting a name and a nationality to people.


Rachel Keller, Kenyon College, S11: A Study on the knowledge and abilities of the health promoters working to prevent and educate about asthma for Juan XXIII in Corea, Zona Sur.

 Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects 1 out of 10 people. Juan XXIII a local public clinic operating in the Southern Zone of Santiago de los Caballeros and works with local citizens in the clinic itself and in their communities through house visits led by health promoters.  This study explores the knowledge of the Juan XXIII promoters on the issue of asthma as well as the resources at their disposal.  The objectives of the investigation are to 1) evaluate the knowledge of the promoters about asthma, 2) compare and identify the knowledge of families in Corea with and without a family member living with asthma, 3) examine and interpret the capacity of the promoters in their ability to assist patients with asthma and inform the community about the topic and 4) discover ways promoters can increase awareness in the clinic and communities. The tools used to conduct the research were direct observation, interviews, literature, and questionnaires. The results of the research show that there are a lack of resources in terms of information and materials for the promoters to use when working in the community. The promoters, community members and patients that suffer from asthma lack knowledge on the theme of asthma. Furthermore the results of the study show a substantial presence of asthma in the Corea community and recommends Juan XXIII continue informing communities about asthma in other communities.


Margaret Federici, Clark University, S11: The effectiveness of the meetings of the youth groups, age 11-13, of Los Platanitos, Gurabo, in reaching the goals of Oné Respe   

The following research analyzes the interpretation and implementation of One Respe’s goals within its youth groups. The organization’s goals include the reception and outreach of the group within the community and their training.  These are objectives characteristic of the organization’s mission and are also applied to its health, education, human rights and artisan programs.  Since the youth group is one of One Respe’s newest initiatives, its staff is still in the process of creating a methodology that will best reach the youth and the organization’s goals. 

The study has two parts.  The first examines the understanding of youth aged 11-13 and how they benefit from the youth group’s objectives, which furthermore includes an exploration of the perceptions of the youth’s parents about the group and its intentions.  The second part is focused on how the facilitators of the youth group define their goals and which methods are utilized to implement them. 

An additional objective is to determine how the third goal, the outreach in the community, can be realized in terms of youth action, to better their local community of Los Platanitos. 

The conclusions of this study were realized through the collection of qualitative data through participatory observation, informal interviews, questionnaires, and a group activity with younger youth and a focus group with the facilitators.  The research provides suggestions about how the organization can reach its desired effects for each goal, specifically for youth aged 11-13.  The recommendations also consist of strategies to involve the parents in the youth’s learning to reinforce the mission of the organization, a more effective plan for the meetings of facilitators and potential steps to begin the process of change in the community. 


Aysha Abraish, Clark University, S11: An evaluation on the effectiveness of using multipliers to teach students from the Guayabal community about the PITS program (Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections) from the organization Fundación Cuidado Infantil Dominicamo (FCID)

The following research is a case study of the pedagogy of the PITS (Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections) program at Fundacion Cuidado Infantil Dominicana (FCID), which teaches specific themes to community volunteers or multiplicadores who then teach other community members.  The focus of the research took place in the community of Guayabal, specifically two classes within their community school.  The research evaluates the effectiveness of the multiplicadores in their transmission of information to students.  The objectives were to evaluate the knowledge of students before and after their training; observe which teaching methods were most and least effective; and make concluding recommendations to better increase the program’s effectiveness.  The tools utilized included a pre-test, post-test, observations and interviews.  The results of the pre-test and post-test revealed that there was an eight percent increase in knowledge between the two tests.  When viewing these results, it is important to take into account the nature of the test and the external factors outside of the multiplicadores control (ex. Noise, too many students, time).  Despite these factors, there is great room for improvement for multiplicadores to define their role and develop effective teaching methods.  Recommendations for program improvement include: only using one or two visuals per workshop, using “mini-quizzes” to evaluate the understanding during each workshop, encouraging student involvement through skits, and finally using more than one workshop to teach each theme.  



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