Please take a moment to see and hear Sandra’s report.
Racism is insidiously present even in the different shades between brown and black. In the Dominican Republic Haitians (French Africans) are second class citizens among Dominicans (Spanish Africans). The historical distinction of these two people groups are intertwined with century’s old war and interdependent economic complexities.
Throughout this time, Haitian migrant workers have crossed into the Dominican side of the island for seasonal employment, opportunities to improve their lives and to support their dependents left on the other side of the border. Many have stayed over the years and brought their families to live in unofficial settlements in marginal areas of Dominican cities. Over 1 million Haitians reside on Dominican soil.
They work in agriculture and in construction for low wages, which surpasses the possibilities available in their homeland. Most of them are undocumented and travel back and forth managing to eke out a living in their struggle for survival. Their quiet demeanor and compliance are signs of fear and of a desire to not disturb so as to be accepted within the systems of power, and mainstream culture. This inevitably results in them being overlooked, bullied and discriminated against.
However, in the midst of all of this is God’s church and His agents that see them! In an impoverished corner of Puerto Plata there is a community who recently changed their name from “black waters” to “new birth” that speaks about the lives that are being born anew in ways that show God is there.
Within this community is a well loved and respected leader, Sandra Tineo, one of our long-standing friends and colleague, who sees the Haitians as her neighbours and as an intrinsic part of her community.
Together with Sandra, during these unprecedented and difficult times of isolation, unemployment and restricted mobility, Nexo was able to partner with Sandra to help 40 Haitian families get through the brunt of quarantine, but as the pandemic prolongs, more families are in need and your support can make a difference.
Partnering through NEXO’s “Feed Hope” campaign with national leaders like Sandra is a very strategic opportunity.
And so, in these recent days as we focus on understanding racism and its many evil forms we can empower national leaders to cross the cultural, racial, and economic divides of the Dominican Republic with God’s love. Our world needs bridge builders like Sandra who together with NEXO continues to bridge the gap one life at a time.
If you are not able to participate financially at this time, would you continue to pray for our work and the FEED HOPE initiative? If you have already sent your gift, would you consider sharing this opportunity with your family and friends, maybe even your contacts in your respective social media channels? Together, we can make a difference. Thank you for your participation in feeding the hungry and nourishing the soul.
Oto & Liz