Directors Jan Burkey and Miriam Hernandez are approaching their 20th year of ministry serving in the impoverished and sometimes violent Palo Blanco barrio, on the outskirts of Jarabacoa city.
Protection and provision have been constant themes in this program since its inception. This is even more defined during the pandemic as the school became a “relief organization” which provided food for hungry families and educational material for kids during school closures.
We are grateful to all those who’ve partnered with us in prayer and financial support for many years but especially during this crisis. God’s love continues to be on display in this community and many lives are being positively impacted.
Job losses have caused the loss of incomes and food is the most urgent need among our children and their families. Palo Blanco School has stepped in!
Rosalina, a former Palo Blanco student now on staff at the school, helps with food distributions to the children and their families. She is studying psychology on a Kids Alive university scholarship.
Our school children and their families are happy to have their food rations. Kids Alive's 20-year ministry in the community has raised education standards as well as built trust.
Director Jan Burkey and Assistant Director Miriam regularly participate in weekly Zoom calls with other Kids Alive DR school directors to discuss and coordinate the best ways to help during this difficult time. We are grateful for new technologies to connect and monitor progress.
Many children in Palo Blanco are born to teenage moms and subsequently are raised by their grandmothers. We partner with such families to ensure they have basic resources.
Our food distribution is meeting the immediate needs of families. With advanced education and hence the ability to better compete in the job market, the older youth often become the "hope" of their families.
Many families in our community have been able to slowly improve their homes. Replacing wood planks with cement blocks makes the house stronger but it is not an option for many.
School mom with her three young boys receiving a much-appreciated food distribution during the COVID pandemic.
Some families have been helped so they can have basic housing. Most have a spigot like this one outside their homes which provides water only sporadically, making hand washing challenging.
Approximately 20% of the children in our schools are of Haitian descent. These families are often the first to suffer when times are hard. Our schools provide a safe and secure place and provision for these disenfranchised families.
Local stores scattered across the community often extend $10-15 of credit to families with no cash. This helps families get by for a day or two.
Regular food distributions during the COVID pandemic are part of our holistic care and help give families hope.
Food is a basic necessity that we have been able to provide during the COVID pandemic.
Many children in Palo Blanco are being raised by single moms or grandmothers. They are particularly appreciative of the extra help Kids Alive is providing.