Dominican Republic (MNN) — Imagine waking up in the morning and heading to work at the local landfill with your family.
You have no shoes or socks; you simply wade through the mounds of filth and sludge barefooted.
When the dumpster truck comes, you sift through the trash looking for a plastic bottle or cardboard to resell.
That was this morning for many kids and families in the Cien Fuegos area of Santiago in the Dominican Republic.
Howie Hooper with Orphan’s Heart says, “It’s almost overwhelming when you come up to the dump…. You drive in, and all of a sudden you see the landfill and it’s just full of people…. Then you notice that there’s a lot of children out there that are just kind of milling around in this dump.”
Hooper goes on to point out, “The families that live close to the dump, that’s their livelihood… It’s just heart-wrenching when you see five, six, seven-year-old children that are out there doing that same thing day after day.”
Orphan’s Heart partners with Cien Fuegos Children’s Center to rescue children from a life of scavenging in the landfills.
Cien Fuegos Children’s Center is run by a pastor from the area. At the center, kids are taught basic school subjects, listen to Bible stories, get basic medical help, and receive a hot meal every day.
There are currently 103 children enrolled at Cien Fuegos Children’s Center, and more kids waiting for an open slot. Sponsorship keeps a child in the center, and it costs just $10 a month.
“50% of the children in the Cien Fuegos area are not enrolled in public schools,” says Hooper. “[The pastor] is able to teach them the basics because they are not in school. So there’s a huge need for school supplies.”
Orphan’s Heart takes teams of volunteers down to the Dominican Republic to help at Cien Fuegos Children’s Center. They bring down the needed school supplies as well as shoes, socks, plastic plates, plastic silverware, and the message of the Gospel.
That’s where the church comes in. By going on a mission trip or donating, you can share Christ’s love to the children in the Dominican Republic. Click here to learn more at their Web site.
Meanwhile, pray that more children will be able to enroll in Cien Fuegos Children’s Center and come to salvation in Christ.