The right to education is recognized by most as a human right and MOSCTHA believes deeply in universal education. Most of the communities living in bateys discriminate against Haitian children and children who are Dominicans of Haitian descent by denying them access to a formal education. These children are not permitted to attend public or private schools because they lack the necessary identification documents to be enrolled in these institutions. Because there are a limited number of public schools in the Dominican Republic, the government views these undocumented children as a threat to their resources. As a result, the majority of Haitian children do not receive any form of formal education.
MOSCTHA focuses on communities that are particularly vulnerable and underprivileged, lacking minimal access to basic needs. MOSCTHA believes that education is the cornerstone of our interventions. Over the last several years, MOSCTHA has built six schools in the bateys which provide education from kindergarten through junior high school. These schools are located the communities of Hato Viejo 2 (Boca Chica), Los Cazabes (Guaricano), Yabacao and Los Jovillos (Monte Plata), and Palamara (Autopista Duarte). There are currently 460 students enrolled in these schools with eight teachers, six aides, and several volunteers.
We have partnered with the HAURRALDE Community Foundation, which provides MOSCTHA with school supplies for the Hato Viejo school. Have books, supplies, resources, or partnership ideas? We'd love to hear from you.
*There is a particular need for books in Spanish and French.
MOSCTHA was founded in 1985 in response to the lack of healthcare services available for Haitian cane cutters in the bateys in the Dominican Republic. Workers in these communities were unable to receive basic treatment for injuries or illness; MOSCTHA saw the need to take action and concentrated its efforts in serving the needs of these vulnerable, exploited and underserved communities. Currently, the majority of people living in bateys still lack access to basic healthcare and public services.
MOSCTHA operates two mobile health care units that provide free medical consultation to those living in bateys. The objective of the mobile units is to provide access to contraceptive services, family planning services, clinical care, sexual and reproductive health services, STD/HIV prevention information and treatment, maternal and child healthcare, and diagnosis and treatment of cervical and breast cancer. Additionally, MOSCTHA provides emotional and psychological counseling to individuals and their families who may be affected by life threatening disease. There are currently 33 communities who are benefiting from these programs.
MOSCTHA implements programs that address a range of human rights abuses. The sugar refinery industry in the Dominican Republic is known to exploit Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent and deny them of their human rights. Specifically, Haitian workers and Dominicans of Haitian descent have suffered from inhumane treatment, including working under long hours of manual labor in unsafe environments and being exposed to cruel deportation practices. These workers are often beaten, denied access to food and water, separated from family members, and in rare cases, die as a result. Further, these Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent are often denied identification cards, despite having worked for years in the field, which limits their ability to travel and makes it difficult for them to gain access to any government programs that may be available.
To address these abuses, MOSCTHA has implement human rights workshops to educate Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent about their basic rights. Specifically, MOSCTHA has provided community lectures and training programs for workers and their families. Additionally, we are raising public awareness by using social networks to encourage the government of the Dominican Republic to recognize and reinforce the rights of these populations.
To date, MOSCTHA has helped hundreds of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent obtain residence permits in the Dominican Republic and we are working closely with the Dominican consulate to allow Haitian immigrants to return to Haiti. This will enable Haitian immigrants to get official working papers so that they have the necessary documents to qualify for a temporary visa in the Dominican Republic.
MOSCTHA believes that providing small loans to women entrepreneurs in bateys gives them an opportunity to be self-sufficient. We promote small businesses and self- employment opportunities for women in the province of Monte Plata and Barahon. Specifically, we provide micro-loans, finance training and mentoring services.
As part of this project, MOSCTHA, the National Training School Cooperative (ENECOOP), the Center for Legal Services for Women (CENSEL) and other institutions have partnered to create and implement a training program to educate women entrepreneurs on topics such as finance, budgeting, management, and human rights. The purpose of the training program is to not only educate women entrepreneurs but also help to build their confidence.
To date we have achieved the following results:
MOSCTHA has provided more than 300 micro-loans for the creation of small businesses.
MOSCTHA has delivered 230 days of training, as well as lectures, workshops, vocational courses, conferences and opportunities for women to exchange their experiences.
MOSCTHA has created 97 new jobs as a result of micro-loans granted to women entrepreneurs.
One of MOSCTHA´s goals is to provide access to clean water and sanitation for those living in bateys. Due to the lack of access to clean water, people living in these communities are highly vulnerable to water borne diseases. MOSCTHA´s aim is to improve the overall quality of life for these individuals by providing better living conditions; particularly free access to clean water and basic sanitation.
MOSCTHA is currently working with communities in Santo Domingo, the Southwest region of the Dominican Republic, and Southeast Peri-urban settlements of Haiti to provide access to safe water and sanitation. The goal of this project is to improve the overall health conditions of people living in these communities.
Additionally, MOSCTHA is working to improve the sanitation conditions in these communities by introducing latrines, water pumps, and wells. MOSCTHA provides training in latrine maintenance, primary healthcare, first aid, and personal hygiene. The goal of this training is to provide communities the skills and tools necessary to be proactive in their own health.
MOSCTHA implements programs that support sustainable, agricultural development. The cyclical nature of the sugar industry in the Dominican Republic dictates that employees work an average of four months out of the year and approximately 18-20 hours per day in the bateys. The majority of these employees are male Haitian immigrants who live and work in the refineries with their families. These men are primarily involved in planting, cutting, loading, weighing and transporting sugar cane to the mills. The other six months of the year, known as ¨time outs or slacks¨, sugarcane cutters seek employment outside of the bateys. Finding work is difficult, particularly for undocumented workers, leaving most of them without a constant source of income. As a result, their spouses take on the role of primary bread winner. Oftentimes, the work that is available to these women is sub-standard; these women are subject to discrimination, deportation, below average wages, and physical and/or mental abuse.