Everyday, Victor Carrasco sees more students come through the doors of the youth center. Victor is Bridges to Community’s Community Coordinator in the Dominican Republic, and he was astonished to see the numbers of youth committee members double in the last three months.
One great motivator for this has been the new youth center, which provides after school classes, recreation area, and space to hold committee meetings for the youth of both Derrumbadero and Caimonial, the communities where Bridges to Community works. Another motivator has been the new housing repairs project that the youth committees worked hard t o prepare for, and which broke ground in March of this year.
The youth of both communities helped to lead workshops with community members about the housing repairs project, which will repair 54 homes in the community of Caimonial, addressing 100% of the housing need there. The Lahn Family and Friends group arrived at the end of March to help break ground on the project, and the youth committees were the first in line to greet them. The first two housing repair beneficiaries were Valentina, her husband and five children, and Dinavia and her husband and four children. The repairs for the houses consisted of new doors and windows to improve the security of the house, replacing rotting wood and rusty tin roofs, and painting the facade.
More than pleased with the results, the youth committees are anxious to begin repairs on the rest of the homes. “It’s been incredible to see how involved and excited the kids are. They were part of the planning and preparation for this project, and now they’re finally seeing the fruits of their labor–with the first two houses complete,” commented DR Country Co-Director, Christina Balint. “We’re all excited to continue the project.”