Children of the Nations' New Partnership with the University of Texas Aims to Bring Sustainable Changes in Public Health to Dominican Slums

    Silverdale, WA – February 21, 2012 – Children of the Nations (COTN) is launching a program in partnership with the University of Texas at San Antonio's Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics that aims to address the deep-rooted problems of sanitation and hygiene that perpetuate disease and poverty in the communities of Barahona, Dominican Republic. The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program will train community leaders to create community health clubs and educate members about basic hygiene and sanitation practices. While the project will be overseen and monitored by the University of Texas, community members will lead all the groundwork. Among the in-country staff overseeing the management of community health clubs is Charinson Feliz, one of the first children sponsored by COTN when it began ministry in the Domincian Republic in 1997, and COTN–Dominican Republic's first medical school graduate.

    The WASH program will train community leaders in all five of the Dominican communities COTN serves, aiming to spread knowledge about basic hygiene and disease prevention through clubs that these leaders will then facilitate. The WASH program relies on the respect and cooperation of the community to bring about long-term change, led by the community members themselves. Both COTN and the University of Texas have high hopes for the sustainable change WASH will bring about. COTN-International Sustainable Development Director Peter Drennan predicts change in the very fiber of day-to-day life in the communities, helping them build "a life where less of their children get sick and more can thrive." And the sustainable, community-led nature of the program will "propel their communities forward into further transformation."

    Children of the Nations is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising children who transform nations. The organization currently serves in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Liberia, providing holistic care to orphaned and destitute children. For more information, visit www.cotni.org.

    For more information contact:
    Peter Drennan, COTN Sustainable Development Director
    360-698-7227 ext. 1124 / peterdrennan@cotni.org