So, how does one measure success or failure? What would be your criteria? We had time to ponder those questions this past week. It was fun to review the memories and remember the people and projects we have experienced during this past nine months (How time flies!)
This is a summary of our humanitarian efforts since arriving April 2012.
1. We completed 20 of the 21 projects that were on the books when we arrived in April.
2. The El Ciqual Water Project is the only one not implemented, because of design changes we are still working on.
3. 12 new projects were approved since April or we finished 3 in 2012.
4. Approximately 750,000 people have or will benefit as a result of these projects.
5. We spent about $695,000 in Humanitarian Funds in 2012.
6. In additional to the above we have 41 other projects we worked on. Some will never develop into projects and others will carry on into 2013 before they become approved projects.
We have driven roughly 10,000 miles on the craziest roads and hazardous conditions of our entire lives with only one ticket, one almost ticket, one accident that had to be reported, numerous dents in the vehicle, untold near misses, 3 armed stops on the highway, one attempted stop by hoodlums, and 8 river crossings.
No wonder we are so tired!
Area projects are those developed in the Dominican Republic by local people to bless the lives of local people. This year we had 6 hospitals, 7 schools, 1 nursing home, 1 physical therapy facility, 1 prosthetics facility and 1 fire department. In addition we are in the process of working with 2 more schools and 2 more physical therapy facilities in the DR.
Major projects are those that are planned according to the major initiatives designed by our headquarters in Salt Lake. We implemented or completed 8 of these projects: 2 vision, 1 neonatal, 4 wheelchair and 1 water. In addition 3 more projects were approved to be implemented in 2013: 1 wheelchair, 1 food, and 1 water.
The yearly Welfare/Humanitarian Training Conference for the Caribbean was held January 9th and 10th. We enjoyed “rubbing shoulders “with the other Humanitarian Missionaries in Haiti, Guiana, and Jamaica and receiving instruction.
Julio Acosta; Murdocks (Jaimica); Cook (Gaiana); Haws (DR); Hammond; Bennie Lilly, Berthany Theodor (Haitii)
One of the things we learned was the difference between the poor and the needy. Poor are those that do not have the skills to become self-sufficient, while being needy is a temporary condition due to losing a job, becoming ill, or an accident or similar condition. The poor will always be with us, so we are focusing on how to implement welfare principles that help people help themselves. This is our main goal as we continue to work among the people of the Dominican Republic.