Dominican Republic

These Little Piggies Went to Market…and Changed Fortunes

The simple gift of a piglet from FRB’s Dominican Republic Bateyes program changed the fortunes of two mothers. And they, in turn, are “paying it forward,” enabling 10 neighboring families to make life-changing improvements to their circumstances as well.


Ramona is a widow with three children who feared she would become destitute. But things started to turn around when she received and raised her first piglet. She gave four of that sow’s initial offspring to neighbors and sold eight, using the proceeds to invest in more animals. She’s sold over 50 pigs to date and made more than $4,000.  Ramona’s business has thrived with help from her children and the day laborers she hires from among her neighbors. She now has nearly 100 animals and a brighter future.


Likewise, Juliana, mother of three, saw everything improve thanks to that one small gift. She has made $620 so far from selling piglets after giving six to neighbors. She’s thrilled that the money helped her send her two sons to school and pay for their school supplies, uniforms, backpacks, shoes and transportation.  


Best of all, Juliana’s pig business has brought her back to her community. She used to be a domestic worker in the nation’s capital, Santo Domingo, and made the commute home only on weekends.  Now, she earns enough to stay home, raise and sell pigs, and run a small grocery store she and her husband opened in their home.

Photo courtesy of CWS. Caption: Juliana with one of her pigs

Dominican Republic Bateyes Program
Led by Church World Service and local partner Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID)
22 communities, 465 households, 3,255 individuals

11/14/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In the Dominican Republic, greater food security for marginalized poor

The goal of FRB’s Dominican Republic-Bateyes program is to reduce malnutrition and increase family incomes and the overall quality of life of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent. These marginalized communities live in bateyes [ba TAY yace] — former sugar plantation work camps — and, recently ruled as “in transit” (though families may have lived in the country for four generations), are not generally eligible for government services.

Their situation is improving through the program: participants are learning new skills in crop management, soil preparation, community seed banks, nutrition, vegetable and small animal production, and efficient marketing of excess produce. Pass-on-the-gift projects with small animals afford participants a source of protein and income. Organizing committees help communities access basics such as water and education for their children.

03/24/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Grossnickle Church of the Brethren to bless seeds, raise funds for food program

Members of Myersville's Grossnickle Church of the Brethren is undertaken its Growing Project to raise funds for the Christian organization Foods Resource Bank. On May 19 Grossnickle will partner with eight other churches to hold it's Blessing of the Seeds event at the farm of Grossnickle members Jeff and Patty Hurwitz.

05/13/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Ramona's Story in the Dominican Republic

The gentle breeze rustled through the trees on Ramona’s porch in the Dominican Republic as I sat watching her bright eyes, animated voice and gesturing hands explain the preschool and adult literacy classes she leads “right here on this porch”.

12/14/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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