The Need

Based on Placer Bonito community information and needs assessment provided by Food for the Hungry, Dominican Republic, the following develops a plan that focuses on the three strategic areas of the Community-to-Community development program: the Church, Families and Community Leadership.  Through this strategy, true and lasting relationships will be built through working side-by-side with the community.

Local Church:

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth.  You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”

Ephesians 4:11-13 He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, 13until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.”

Matthew 25:37-40 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?’  The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’ ”

James 1:27 “The Christian who is pure and without fault, from God the Father’s point of view, is the one who takes care of orphans and widows, and who remains true to the Lord, keeping oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 2:15-17 “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, as you go, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”

Philippians 2:3-5 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look out not only for your own interests, but also the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”

This area is the most important element of the strategy.  True and lasting individual and community change is achieved through spiritual transformation.  The church needs to be the spiritual light into the community, constantly reaching out into the community reflecting the love of Jesus Christ and meeting the needs of the community. The church needs to be in a position to provide for the spiritual, physical and emotional needs for people in crisis situations.  The church must be the “Body of Christ” in the community.

Perceived Needs:

1.     The Church is not reaching out to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the community.  The church is very small and is ineffective.

2.     The primary spiritual beliefs in the community are Voodoo (Haitian witchcraft) and Santeria (Animistic practices from Africa).

3.     Children and youth do not have access to Biblical teaching.

4.     Youth are exposed to un-Biblical social practices such as gambling, alcohol, violence/gangs and sexual relationships.

Proposed Solutions:

1.     Provide training for church leaders and pastors. Also, pastor mentoring could be provided with regular visits from FHI staff.

2.     Train and equip local pastors on how to meet the needs of the community.

3.     Train church leaders to mentor the youth in the community with real life Biblical principles.

4.     Conduct Bible study classes (VBS) for children and youth.

5.     Setup para-church activities after school for Bible study.

6.     Renovate or build a church for the community.

7.     Follow Biblical guidelines to care for the orphans and widows.  Establish an orphanage that would be administered by the widows in the community.  Train the church leaders to lead community in the responsibility to care for the orphans and widows.


Ephesians 5:31 to 6:4 “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

1Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. 3And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, “you will live a long life, full of blessing.” 4And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.”

Deuteronomy 4:9 “But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the LORD do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

Families form the core of the community social structure.  Family members have the greatest impact on the development of a child and, therefore, can change a child to influence the next generation.

Perceived Needs:

1.     The school in Placer Bonito is very limited and only provides education through 5th grade.

2.     Children are not motivated to go to school.

3.     Youth do not have the opportunity to receive vocational and technical skills training.

4.     Most families do not have access to potable water.

5.     Most families do not have latrines.

6.     Families have not been trained in household and personal hygiene.

7.     The community does not have trained Health and First-aid Promoters.

8.     No clinics are available for families to have medical and dental examinations.

Proposed Solutions:

1.     Training parents on the importance of education for their children.

2.     Conduct classes on Biblical roles for husband and wife and family leadership.

3.     Provide funding for school supplies.  This would be a special project where we would seek sponsors to provide school supplies.  The money would be collected and made available to FHI by August of each year.  How much would be needed each year?

4.     Complete construction of school in the community to provide education for Grades 1 through 8.

5.     Conduct medical, dental and vision clinics.

6.     Provide training to families in first aid and personal hygiene.

7.     Provide training for Community Health Providers.

8.     Construct latrines.

9.     Construct water wells for community potable water source.

10.  Provide vocational and technical skills training for youth in the community. Setup scholarships for youth to pursue various types of vocation training after they complete some level of High School education.

11.   Home visits for evangelism and witness is a priority, along with the opportunity to visit with our sponsored children in their home environment is very special and very important not just to the sponsored child but also to their families.

Community Leaders:

Genesis 1:26-30 Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life—the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals.” 27 So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. 28God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.” 29And God said, “Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.” And so it was.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: Whoever does not work should not eat.  Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business. 12In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we appeal to such people—no, we command them:  Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living.”

Godly leaders will influence the community and have the power to transform the community from an attitude of hopelessness and despair to a community of hope and vision.

Perceived Needs:

1.     No vision or direction set by the community.

2.     No economic enterprise base to create a local economy.

Proposed Solutions:

1.     Organize and train community leadership groups (Farmer’s Co-op) to solve community problems and develop the vision for the community.

2.     Provide training in Biblical leadership and economic development.

3.     Start agriculture based economic enterprises in the community.  Consider pigs, goats, cattle, casaba, corn, green beans, plantains, onions and coffee or other possibilities.  Organize a Farmers Co-op to promote and sell products.

4.     Start a construction based economic enterprises in the community.  Define indigenous construction techniques of the community and train a core group of community members to use these techniques throughout the community.

5.     Train the community leaders on how to create funds for these enterprises and how to manage them.

6.     Work with an existing coffee coop in the general area to purchase coffee for sale (project fund raising) in the US.

7.     Construct a Community Center for community meetings and medical clinics.