Dominican Republic

Two girls smiling

Smiling Haitian girl with arms waving in the air smiling playmates in the background

The situation:

The migration of Haitian people to the Dominican Republic began in 1920 when the government hired Haitian workers to work on plantations in the Dominican Republic. Many of these workers and their families, in search of a better life, ended up remaining in the country. Because they were not able to receive the necessary legal documentation, they became illegal immigrants, a status that has been passed down to their children, and their children’s children.

As illegal immigrants, they are stuck, unable to return to Haiti, and yet unable to live and work legally in the Dominican Republic. Families are unable to access medical services, parents are not able to work normal jobs, and their children are unable to access education. All of these factors together combine to keep the Haitian population living the Dominican Republic living in poverty.

Project description:

Joy Foundation, in partnership with a local church, runs a school for Haitian children who are from families of illegal migrants living in the Dominican Republic. This ministry seeks to create opportunities for children to connect with God and receive a quality education, enabling them to have a better future with hope found in Jesus.

Project goals:

  • To fully and positively impact the community of Puerto Plata through helping children develop into capable leaders who contribute to changing the perception of the Haitian community living in the Dominican Republic.
  • To provide quality education to Haitian children that will help them to break out of the cycle of poverty in which they and their families live.
  • To provide nutritious meals for each child while they are at school.
  • To expand Kindergarten programs to include at-risk Dominican children with the goal of helping to integrate the Haitian and Dominican communities.

Ministry facts:

  • Joy Foundation is located in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
  • The ministry was founded in 2015 as a means to invest intellectually and spiritually into the lives of children.
  • In 2021, a food program was launched to provide food to those children who were attending school, along with their families.


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