Survival Skills in Dominican Republic

Most children learn basic survival skills — like shopping from groceries, renting an apartment and applying for a job — from their parents. When learning from their parents is not an option, many young adults, like those growing up in orphanages in the Dominican Republic, are at risk of getting trapped by dangerous lifestyles when they transition to independent life.

To better equip young adults before they age out of their orphanage, Just Hope is working with local teachers and professionals to empower students with the skills they need to provide for themselves a chance at lasting independence. They learn the skills necessary for safe, healthy adult living, and take English language classes, as speaking English greatly improves their chances of securing a good job that will provide for their needs.

Current Needs

In the Dominican Republic, we have news that church members are opening their homes to some of the Survival Skills students so they may have a transition period from the orphanage to the outside world. So far, there have been three girls that have benefitted from the generosity and kindness of these church members. We pray that the students continue to get support from the community and that they take advantage of this blessing with wisdom and maturity as they begin their transitions to living independently.

We are overjoyed to learn that Harry’s students in the Dominican Republic are coming out of their shells and starting to participate more during the English as a Second Language classes. They are beginning to overcome their fears of embarrassment and volunteering to engage in active lessons, such as showing their sentence structure skills on the whiteboard for the class. We thank God for giving these students the faith they need and pray for Harry as he continues to encourage them to go above and beyond.

We pray for unity amongst all leaders in orphanages. The enemy is against any work that helps an orphan – who are at the center of God’s heart. We need prayer for everyone to work together with one heart.

We ask God to protect our Survival Skills students in the Dominican Republic, and pray that they are able to learn responsibility and discipline in their journey toward independence.

We pray for the students in the Dominican Republic, that they understand the importance of learning the skills that will lead to a safe, healthy, independent life.

We ask for God’s direction as we pursue partnerships that can open more opportunities for the girls.

We praise God for the launch of the Survival Skills program in the Dominican Republic, and ask for His guidance and blessings on the teachers and students there.

Most Recent Updates


Just Hope Hero: Sofia, Abuse Survivor, Wants to Help Others

  • Dominican Republic, Survival Skills Student
When Sofia was 13, she and her sister were taken to an orphanage by the national adoption authority in the Dominican Republic. The girls’ mother moved away when Sofia was 8 and they were left to live with their stepfather. For five years, the girls were abused, often locked in the house alone and were not attending school. Finally, a concerned neighbor reported the abusive stepfather and the girls were removed from the home. She is now 17, a young woman who has matured greatly since coming to the orphanage. After four years in a safe and stable environment, she has become responsible, friendly, studious and dedicated to making a future for herself. She enjoys reading, listening to music and playing soccer, and she has a high aptitude for math. Read Sofia's story...

Hero Spotlight: Joanna Henriquez Brings a Bit of God’s Heaven to Earth in the Dominican Republic

  • Joanna, Dominican Republic
Joanna Henriquez is our Survival Skills teacher in the Dominican Republic, where she teaches 35 orphaned and vulnerable teenagers how to survive independently and provide for themselves after they age out of the orphanage. She believes this youth empowerment work is God’s calling for her, and often expresses her gratitude to God for making it possible for her to work with these teens. Read more about Joanna...

Cooking practice

The students in the Dominican Republic practiced cooking as part of their Survival Skills training. They learned to cook five basic menus, and it looks like they had a good time in the process!

Grocery shopping field trip

Meal planning, nutrition, grocery shopping and budgeting are critical skills our students learn in the Survival Skills program. The students in the Dominican Republic recently completed a grocery shopping trip to get food to cook the following week. They practiced planning a healthy meal that fit their budget and shopping for the ingredients.

Survival Skills Program Launched in Dominican Republic

We are excited to announce the launching of our survival skills program in the Dominican Republic! Using what we've learned from our program in Panama, we have made changes to the curriculum and application process. We look forward to bringing you stories about this new group of young people, and we ask for your prayers as we get them fully launched. Read more about the launch here.

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