A Motivational Word – Fashion Designer Jeanette Limas Visits Hogar del Niño

The Hogar del Niño was recently blessed with a visit from famous fashion designer and active suppor

Meet Meri Hirose

After several years, the Patronato Benéfico Oriental has the honor of renewing a relationship with

PBO Scholars to visit Universidad Nacional de La Rioja in Argentina

One of the missions of the Patronato Benéfico Oriental (PBO) is that our merit scholars–throu


A Motivational Word – Fashion Designer Jeanette Limas Visits Hogar del Niño

June 4, 2013 in Events, Involúcrese, Programs

The Hogar del Niño was recently blessed with a visit from famous fashion designer and active supporter Jeanette Limas.

The highlight of her visit was a motivational speech given to fourth year high school students, which touched upon career goals and pursing one’s passion.  Ms. Limas encouraged the young men and women to not only be model citizens and responsible figures in today’s world, but more importantly to recognize the opportunities given to them and use them to help accomplish their dreams.  In a Coelho-esque moment that echoed on advice given in the Alchemist, Jeanette talked about the power of passion and ambition:

¨When you decide you want something very badly, that energy builds and helps you to achieve it. Take advantage of the opportunities given to you, and set out to fulfill that dream and that passion that sits deep within you. Focus on your dream. If you don’t, if you make the unconscious decision to not pursue your passion, it can drive you crazy. Decide what you want to be and go be it.¨

Ms. Limas, a fashion designer from La Romana who now resides in New York City and is the Head Design Assistant in Urban Zen by Donna Karan, knew at a very young age she wanted to work in the fashion industry.  But things were not always easier for her:¨It’s a struggle. I remember times of little support, knocking on doors only to have them not open for me.  Times when I received no recognition, and felt frustrated and lost.  But I kept going.  You can never give up—if you know what you want and you really want it, go and fight for it.¨

Ms. Limas found out about the Hogar about 3 years ago, at the Fashion Show Dominicana Moda, where the Patronato Benéfico Oriental was one of the benefitting charities of the event.

¨I am from La Romana and knew of the organization, but it wasn’t until speaking with people from the organization at Dominicana Moda that I realized just how much they are doing for the community of La Romana, the scope of their work and how involved they are.  At the event, I was invited to a Café de La Leche in Casa de Campo, where I later learned more about the organization. Since then I have been a constant supporter– I don’t have enough good things to say about all the great work they do in La Romana and surrounding communities.’’

The Hogar would like to thank Ms. Limas for her visit, her inspirational words, and her continuous and generous support.

Meet Meri Hirose

May 20, 2013 in Escuela Sordomudos, The Zona Verde, Programs, SordoMudos

After several years, the Patronato Benéfico Oriental has the honor of renewing a relationship with JICA, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.  It was the same organization who in 1993 sent some of the first permanent volunteers to the Hogar del Niño, effectively beginning our Volunteer Program.

Now, JICA has sent volunteer Meri Hirose to work in the School for the Deaf at Hogar, for a period of two years.  Meri is a volunteer specialist in sign language, with extensive study and experience in Deaf culture.

(photo courtesy of www.casadecampoliving.com

In spite of also being Deaf, Meri reads and writes Japanese, Spanish and English.  She has an extensive work history with foundations across the world: in her native Japan, in the Philippines, the United States—and now the Dominican Republic.  She has travelled to over 40 countries, where she has constantly striven to work with and for Deaf  individuals like herself, to instill in them a sense of pride and show them that this disability does not have to be a barrier to achieving success and realizing your dreams.

The PBO is proud to welcome Meri at the Hogar and is thankful for JICA’s valuable support.

Thank you Meri for being PBO!!

Question & Answer with Meri:

Where are you from in Japan?

I came here from Tokyo!

How long have you worked with JICA?

I have been a volunteer to JICA for 2 years now.

 What countries have you traveled to?

I’ve been to 40 countries. I have not been to Africa and Central Asia or Middle East yet.

 What is your work here at Hogar?

I am teaching deaf children basic independent living skills such as cleanliness, health and things like tying own shoes.  I also teach basic DR sign language.

 What do you hope to accomplish?

I hope to instill Deaf Pride among my students.  I want to see that Deaf children after they finish school that they can lead an independent life.

How long have you been in DR?

4 months.

What do you like most about DR so far?

I love DR dance and the beach. They’re awesome!

 Anything else you want to say or share?

Lets make dreams come true.  Yes, we can do it!

PBO Scholars to visit Universidad Nacional de La Rioja in Argentina

April 30, 2013 in Programs

One of the missions of the Patronato Benéfico Oriental (PBO) is that our merit scholars–through our Program de Becas– are supported throughout their journey in secondary education.  Through this program, students who excel at the Hogar del Niño are able to obtain university degrees and become accomplished professionals, bettering the circumstances for both themselves and their families.

Geuri García Rosario y Natacha Mercedes Silverio, two of our outstanding scholars, both attended school at the Hogar del Niño.  Entering the institution and the ages of 9 and 12, respectively, Geuri and Natacha were raised and educated at the Hogar, where they, like all of our students, were offered continued support and assistance in health, nutrition, and education.

Graduates of the school in 2009, these two scholars achieved academic excellence that allowed them to benefit from scholarships in the Becado Program, allowing them to continue their studies.  They are both currently in their tenth cuatrimestre at the Architecture school at the Universidad Central del Este (UCE) in San Pedro de Macoris.

Before graduating the Architecture program at UCE, Natacha and Geuri must present a thesis, and have been offered the opportunity to realize this work at the Universidad de la Rioja in Argentina.  The experience will be a great installment in their academic career, and allow them to further develop as professionals.

The PBO and Hogar del Niño proudly congratulate Natacha and Geuri for their achievements and work ethic, which have allowed them to such a great and exciting opportunity.

H.O.P.E. Lends a Hand to Hogar’s Bilingual Program

April 22, 2013 in English Programs, Involúcrese, The Zona Verde

Every year, Stonehill College sends students from their  group HOPE to spend a week volunteering at the Hogar del Niño. This alternative Spring Break Program allows for the university students to integrate themselves into a new culture as well as into the hearts of the people in the school, both young and old. This past March, the group of 23 left the snowy streets of Easton, Massachusetts to help with the development of the “Learning English Early” Bilingual Program at the Hogar.

With the help of permanent volunteers and employees at the school, the group designed and created giant posters that will be used in each Nivel Inicial classroom. Furthermore, the volunteers taught the teachers of the Nivel Inicial what each poster meant and the correct pronunciation for each word.

Each morning, the volunteers spent time working in the Nivel Inicial, teaching English to the children through books, music and other strategies. Also, they were placed in the hearing-impaired school, the Zona Verde (the new extracurricular building) and the Infant Room. All of the locations allowed each volunteer to meet and spend time with the students of the Hogar del Niño. The week ended with a volleyball competition and an overall sadness to depart. Groups such as this one from Stonehill College are proof that with a big heart and drive to make a difference, anything is possible in a short amount of time. And, as we always say to our short term volunteers, it is never a “goodbye,” it is only a “see you soon.”

Honors English Program Part of New Initiative

March 20, 2013 in English Programs, Involúcrese

Yesterday was the last class of the school year for volunteers Rick Laird & Joyce Berman, who along with Director of Extracurricular English Peggy Goldberg helped form the Honors English Program, a group of ten high school freshman that meets every afternoon Tuesday through Thursday.  Rick and Joyce have been working with this group since the beginning of January, imparting basic English instruction supplemented by the use of the Rosetta Stone® computer program.

The Honors English Program is part of a wider initiative to start the Hogar on the track towards becoming a bilingual school in the near future.  Former volunteer and current teacher Diane Tobio has been working with students of all ages, from preschool through basic and high school.  Along with the help of a wide volunteer base, she is currently working to develop a new curriculum and helping strategize for the implementation and actualization of English teaching programs in the coming school year.

Anyone interested in volunteering with English Programs at the Hogar, we invite you to e-mail:

      Inexis Zapata, Volunteer Coordinator, izapata @ pbo.org.do


Peggy Goldberg, coordinator of extracurricular English Programs, mortandpeggy @ gmail.com

A Look Back at HDN Weekend 2013

March 7, 2013 in Events, Involúcrese

This year’s Hogar del Niño weekend was a great success, with record turnouts in all our events—from the MTB Marathon to our beachside Dinner & Dance party…

Here is a look back at the weekend and all of the smiling faces from our many different events:

Farleigh Dickinson Volunteers Kick Off the New Year

January 29, 2013 in Involúcrese, The Zona Verde, Programs

From January 9th to January 20th, 13 volunteers from Fairleigh Dickinson University came to volunteer with us at the Hogar del Nino. Of the group of volunteers, there were four who returned from previous year trips, some on their third or fourth visit to the Hogar.

The main project for this year´s group was the creation of a small park behind our extracurricular building, the ZonaVerde.  The idea was to create a space that could be used for class, studying, and relaxing.

The group spent the first few days clearing the space–weeding, cleaning and removing debris from the area. While cleaning up the area, the volunteers picked out larger rocks to use later to paint and outline the garden and the trees.

While laying down gravel, students from the school and volunteers painted the larger rocks to be placed around the area. The volunteers selected artwork from the students of the Zona Verde. The volunteers and the students then worked together for several days to recreate these images on the walls in the form of a mural. They also laid down dirt and soil to prepare the gardens for planting. A variety of herbs, flowers, and plants were planted in the tires as well as in the garden area.

In the end, the volunteers created a great space for learning. The area is now being used for English class and art class in the morning of the Zona Verde.

After completing the small park, the volunteers spent their last few days in other areas of the school, in Sala Cuna sharing time with the infants and visiting toddlers in Nivel Inicial. The volunteers observed the classes while also participating in daily activities, from classroom instruction to English conversation practice to volleyball games and sing-a-longs.

It was a special visit that went by all too quickly, but the Hogar was happy to have this great group visit, and even more we now have a special place created by them for the students at the Hogar to enjoy.

Artists for Kids

December 12, 2012 in Involúcrese, The Zona Verde, Programs

The visiting artists for the Zona Verde Mural project have recently been invited to attend an Exposicion at the 3rd EYE (SOL) ATION Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, where their work will be on display from the 20th of December until the 20th of January, 2013.

Art Professor Argenis Lebron and his group hope to travel and help support the program ´Artists for Kids´ by Hogar del Niño, a program whose mission is to help youth in the community to develop their artistic talents under the supervision and mentoring of professional artists and designers.

If you would like to help support these artists and their trip to New York to promote this program, please contact us by email: info@pbo.org.do or by telephone 809-556-3181.

Zona Verde Transformed

November 29, 2012 in Involúcrese, The Zona Verde

The Zona Verde at Hogar del Niño revealed this past Friday the colorful art project that has been in production the last two weeks . From the 12th to the 23rd of December, a group of 8 Dominican artists—graduates of the design school in Altos de Chavon—created a stunning work of art at the extracurricular building at Hogar del Niño.  The building was completely remodeled on the exterior, from a plain white canvas to a vibrant painting, a lifelike nature scene featuring flowers, landscapes, trees, clouds and creatures.

The unveiling of this project was a great success, and the celebration was lively and cheerful.The event included singing by Quennie Paniagua, dance performances by other students, a presentation about non-violence, and even a song for the Zona Verde. Presentations were also given to honor those involved in the project, which was conceptualized and lead by Art Teacher Argenis Lebron.

The highlight of the event was a transformer costume made of recycled art.  The costume looked as it came right out of the movie, with battery powered lights, lights, gadgets, and artist and designer of the piece, Alexis Valerio, mounted inside the costume.  After revealing the transformer costume, Alexis was instantly swarmed by students anxious to get a picture and to see the transformer up close and personal.

A special thank you to the visiting artists:

Argenis Lebrón : La Romana

Modesto Santiago : Santo Domingo

Wali Vidal : Santiago

Jesús De La Cruz : Santiago

Ivan Ramón : San Juan de La Maguana

Edward Salcedo : Higuey

Hansel Morales : La Romana

Argenis Matos : Santo Domingo

Alexis Valerio : Santiago (Transformer)

And to everyone else involved with this project.

Starkey Hearing Foundation Visits The Hogar

November 19, 2012 in Programs

The Hogar recently recieved a visit from the Starkey Hearing Foundation, an organization dedicated to, as their mission statement says, ‘’bringing understanding among people through hearing care by focusing on awareness, education, protection and treatment, so the world may hear.”  Since its creation, the foundation has fitted over one million hearing aids across the globe and over 30,000 in the Dominican Republic.

Antonio Esteban, director of the foundation in the Dominican Republic, spent the day with assistants in the Deaf-Mute school preparing molds for hearing aids.  Small putty molds were placed in the ears of the men and women being sized for the equipment, and after the molds hardened they were sorted to be converted into personalized hearing aids.   Sr. Esteban and the Starkey team will distribute thousands of hearing aids made from these molds on December 17th in Santo Domingo.

Sr. Esteban is a specialist in hearing and hearing aids.  He studied Health Sciences and Hearing Instruments in Minnesota, USA.  He has worked with the institution for over 10 years.  As he emphasized, the work the foundation does is completely free of charge, with the goal of bringing dignity to men and women by enabling them to hear.

“The child who cannot communicate to their mother or father, telling them they love them, the mother who cannot hear a cry from her child from her room, or viceversa, these are the reasons that compel us to carry out these operations.”

To read more about the Starkey Hearing Foundations work in the Dominican Republic, visit here

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