El Tesoro Development Program

This Development Program aims to improve the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable, using an approach that is long term (15-20 years), holistic, focused on children, and seeks to enable their families, local communities and partners to address the underlying causes of poverty. These root causes are not just lack of access to the basic necessities of life like water, food or health care, but also include inequities like gender or ethnic discrimination, or abusive practices like exploitation or domestic violence that affect a child’s well-being.


93 farmers participated in workshops on animal husbandry, modern farming methods, and business management to improve production and increase their incomes. 45 families started or expanded businesses with assistance from our local microfinance subsidiary. 31 people were trained in economic development and municipal management as part of a strategy to boost support for local economic development initiatives that benefit children and their families. 356 young adults were certified in accounting, plumbing, hairstyling, and other trades through our partnership with a local vocational-technical college, expanding their opportunities for employment. In partnership with local churches and youth groups, 3,299 children and their families were reached with information about the prevention of HIV, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases. 1,545 children were fully vaccinated, in large part due to our awareness campaigns on the importance of immunization and our partnership with the Ministry of Health. 638 mothers and caregivers learned how to protect children from illness through our health education programs. 83 church leaders were trained in Channels of Hope, a biblically-based program that equips churches to address HIV and AIDS and to care for those affected by the virus. We organized nutrition demonstrations for mothers of children younger than 5, teaching them how to prevent malnutrition using locally available foods. We also monitored children's nutritional status; 1,378 monitored children were at a healthy weight for their age. 17 children with special needs were integrated into life-skills education programs with our support. With our help, community members established six Parent-Teacher Associations to advocate for improved quality of education and to carry out school improvement projects in their communities. 61 teachers were trained in innovative strategies for teaching reading, writing, and math. Also, counselors and teachers participated in workshops to help them address bullying, which is common in local schools. 165 children attended our early education centers, strengthening their social and cognitive development and preparing them for school. 74 children obtained birth certificates with our help, making it easier for them to access health and education services. 1,110 children and youth were involved in clubs and youth groups focused on promoting children's rights, building a culture of peace, and encouraging healthy hygiene practices. 1,808 children, together with schools and youth groups, took part in campaigns to reduce violence in their communities. 35 youth completed our leadership program, which covered topics such as advocacy, servant leadership, and citizenship. After graduating, the youth designed and carried out their own service project—renovating a playground for children in their community.

Additional information

This Development Program uses an innovative approach to programming. Instead of creating projects around specific sectors, they conduct integrative projects around the ages of the participants. The 0-5 project, for example, includes activities in health and nutrition from pregnancy to age 5, early education, child development, and birth registration.

Cross-cutting issues

Most Vulnerable Children, Gender, Advocacy, HIV&AIDS


  • Dominican Republic>Bahoruco


  • Economic Recovery and Development
  • Education
  • Health
  • Protection

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