Why ISV is in the Dominican Republic

by on Sunday, 20 January 2013

ISV assists in development initiatives through out the Dominican Republic that support underserved communities © all images used with permission by ISV Dominican Republic

While the Dominican Republic is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches, vibrant culture, and warm, friendly people, it is also one of the poorest nations in the Caribbean and is facing the ongoing struggles of poverty as well as a drastically under-funded public education system.

Since 2004, over 1,500 student volunteers have worked with ISV in Dominican communities, supporting efforts to improve the lives of hundreds of underprivileged children and families. ISV partners with local communities and organizations to plan initiatives for positive change through sustainable development projects. Volunteer efforts focus on education through the ISV children’s Health Education and Language Program, and building projects focusing on community infrastructure in rural areas.

Dominican Republic Facts

ISV strives to be part of the solution for many poor communities through our volunteer programs

According to the Institute for Statistics of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):

  • over 42% of Dominicans live in conditions of poverty;
  • 10% of Dominicans under age five are malnourished; and
  • 26% of rural Dominican families do not have access to sanitation.

The tremendously underfunded public education system (2.2% of GDP is invested in public education) and the inaccessibility of public services such as basic health care, perpetuates these conditions and limits the ability of Dominican citizens to break out of the cycle of poverty.

Volunteers do make a difference!

Statistically speaking, in terms of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Dominican Republic boasts one of the strongest economies in the Caribbean, however a recent survey produced by the Partnership for Educational Revitalization in Latin America (PREAL), indicates that Dominican school children in grades 3 and 6 scored far below the predicted proficiency levels on both Math and Literacy – well below many of the poorest countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Over the past nine years in the Dominican Republic, ISV has witnessed many of these humbling statistics through our work and our partnerships with non-government and non-profit organizations and through our relationships with community leaders throughout the country. We strive to be part of the solution for many poor communities through our volunteer programs and are proud to have given students from around the world opportunities to assist in development initiatives that support underserved communities in education, health and infrastructure improvement like access to sanitation and running water.

Volunteers like you can make a difference. To learn more about ISV’s programs in the Dominican Republic visit our website.


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