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.

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.

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

First Graduation of Alfabetizacion Program

April 26, 2012 in Events, Involúcrese, Programs

Last month the Patronato Benefico Oriental, along with the Foundation for the Southern Future, celebrated the first graduation of the Literacy Program for Youth and Young Adults. The ceremony was very uplifting and emotional—everyone in attendance was filled with a sense of pride to see men and women, youth and young adults receiving certificates of accreditation as graduates of the program. Completion of the program will also give these graduates the opportunity to participate in programs of continued education, such as in the formal system or technical programs such as those sponsored by the PBO Vocational Workshop, in partnership with INFOTEP.

The Dominican Republic has one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the Caribbean. With an estimated 10-13% of the adult population illiterate, it is significantly above the average of 8.3% among Caribbean and Latin American counties. The problem is severe—the country is far above the average rate of illiteracy. The project Plan Estratégico de Educación Provincial aims to reduce poverty by means of intensive action, participative programs for youth and adults that will gradually eradicate illiteracy in La Romana. The communities benefited by the first cycle of the program were the Hogar del Niño, Municipal District Cumayasa KM 10, Batey Cacata, and Villa Hermosa—including the neighborhoods of San Carlos, Pica Piedra, and Tsuchi, for a total of four hundred and thirty-eight participants.

The four hundred and thirty-eight participants who finished the program received certificates accredited by the Ministry of Adult Education of the Dominican Republic (MINERD), and seventy-three participants were placed in second and third cycle of basic formal adult education.

We hope that in the future these adults can continue their education and that the success of this program continues. Literacy does not only involve letters and knowledge of words and what they imply, but furthermore it offers participants and their communities the opportunity to achieve change in their own lives of their own will, to be men and women capable of integrating graciously into Dominican society and the labor market, to develop critical thinking skills and entrepreneurial skills, and to ultimately provide independent support for their families.

Stonehill H.O.P.E. Returns to Hogar

March 30, 2012 in Involúcrese, Programs

During the second week of March, twenty-four volunteers from Stonehill College  in Easton, MA visited the Hogar del Niño. The university students, who participated in a program known as H.O.P.E. Alternative Spring Break, spent the week doing volunteer service—-painting classrooms, teaching english, working in the preschool areas and the infant room, as well as leading arts and crafts projects in the Zona Verde extracurricular building.

H.O.P.E. is an acronym which stands for: Honoring our neighbor, Organizing for justice, Practicing peace, and Encountering God.

This group has been visiting our institution every March since 2007. This trip was another successful year for all involved in our volunteer program. The students and volunteers, as always, shared many unforgettable moments and cultivated many friendships.

Alicia Talty, a volunteer who returned for her second trip to the Hogar, was happy to be back: “It’s amazing to see how much progress and improvements can be done within one year. Being at the Hogar is such an uplifting experience – it’s impossible not to be happy, smile, or laugh because it’s contagious throughout the school.”

First time volunteer Ryan Rafferty was also very moved by what he saw at Hogar: “My hope trip experience was truly world changing for me. Being an education major, I always believed that a school was solely a place for learning. But from this experience I learned that a school can provide so much more than just educational opportunities. In the Hogar, the students receive security, medical attention, food, and a real sense of family.”


The cultural exchange that emerges from having volunteers here is always enriching and fulfilling for both students and volunteers.  Volunteer service trips such as H.O.P.E. are inspiring for those who come to work here. But we also know beyond a doubt that every volunteer who passes through the Hogar, for whoever long or short a time, leaves a footprint here and is forever part of our family.


 Thank you Stonehill Hope, and all of our volunteers!

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