At the end of April 2015, Sarah Korth, Gavin Korth, Drew Kondylas, Michael King, Brian Wishart, Kelly Stickney, Mike Lucivero, and Leila Kashani joined forces with Hope for Health's Mary Benner in continued efforts to address the healthcare needs in the southwestern Dominican Republic. Mary runs nutrition clinics in Haiti, and trains mission groups to implement these clinics in areas of need, and generously donated her time to assist with the continued development of the Paraiso Project.
Since 2009, Sarah has worked closely with a local missionary priest and influential community leader, Stephane Jean, along with the help of global health graduate student, Cary Hilbert, to meticulously develop a program to address the significant health disparities of the communities around Paraiso in the southwestern Dominican Republic with the ultimate primary goal of self-sustainability. This remote area largely consists of poor Haitian immigrants who have little or no access to healthcare resources and education. The focus has remained on involving local stakeholders in assessing the communities' needs and on creating sustainable changes by encouraging community members to become invested in reducing their own health disparities.
During this upcoming trip in October and November 2014, per the consensus decision of the local community members and leaders, we will implement our first all-out nutrition intervention. We will complete deworming in all 32 communities to decrease the pervasive malnutrition from parasites/worms due to contaminated water supply and poor sanitary practices. We will complete extensive health training of local representatives, give nutrition and sanitation education sessions in all communities, distribute seeds of the Moringa tree (a tree that proliferates on other areas of the island and is a studied and proven source of essential micronutrients), distribute supplemental micronutrients as we allow the trees time to grow, provide essential vitamins, dental supplies, as well as complete anemia and health screenings. It is an effort that involves the time and collaboration of many, has the potential to have enormous impact on the lives of these community members, and is one more step towards permanent and sustainable changes.
Some of you have already asked how to best support this effort we so strongly believe in. We are in great need of financial assistance to enable the project to move forward. The cost to give health care and supplies to one person for 6 months to decrease malnutrition and promote good health is about $4.00. Treating 3,000 people in these 32 communities will cost approximately $12,000.Funds will be used to purchase 6 months of supplies of micronutrients for the 3,000 people of these communities, Vitamin A (deficiency of this is the leading cause of irreversible and preventable blindness in the world), Moringa tree seeds for sustainable micronutrient access, needed antibiotics and pain medications, as well as for truck and driver rental to bring supplies into the remote villages.
You can donate in two ways:
1.) For fast and easy donation, just click the button at the top of this page and donate by credit card or by using Paypal.
2.) For a tax-deductible donation, click this link or send a check made out to "Tree of Life International" with a memo/note of "For The Paraiso Project" to Tree of Life International, PO Box 485, Harleysville, PA 19438.
Thank you in advance for all of your generous support -- it means the world to us and to the people of these communities that you will be helping.