For the first 10 years since its foundation, the goals of Niños de la Frontera centered around ameliorating the suffering of children living in the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. For a decade we ran programs providing direct medical care, including:
- Running 2 health care clinics for children and pregnant women.
- Running a “casa de salud” to provide food, medical services, and a place for pregnant women to stay in Pedernales while waiting for childbirth.
- Emergency transportation from the fields to hospitals in Pedernales and Barahona.
- Treatment for malnutrition.
- Free dental and prenatal care for women, including sonograms, prenatal supplements, and house visits by doctors and nurses.
- Distribution of contraceptives.
We provided these services thanks to the very generous donations from many organizations in North America and Europe, including the American Humanist Association, and the Norwegian Humanist Association. We also received the generous support, in money and volunteer hours, of many individuals from the USA, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Finland, Spain, and Norway.
In the lasts 5 years we have been transitioning from a model based on receiving donations from developed countries, to a model of community-owned enterprises which provide income to the members of the community. Members of the communities are then free to use this money earned through work to improve their lives and that of their families. We are now in the middle of transitioning Children of the Border to two related organizations:
pedernales.de/corazon — a community-owned for-profit organization providing Ecotourism services to university groups. The profits from this enterprise are distributed among the community members, with 25% of the annual profits donated to humaniste.education (see below). As a for-profit organization, pedernales.de/corazon does not accept donations, and does not hire volunteers. All the work is performed for pay by members of the communities we serve.
humaniste.education — a community-owned non-profit organization helping students and teachers in Haiti improve the education of Haitian children living in isolated villages.