How I Met Dominica

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April 6, 2012:

Easter is already here and construction of classes upstairs in the school are about to begin. With 420 students in the school every inch is taken so this will allow children to move around. This is a project that Dominica and I had as soon as the school was built (6 years ago). This is why the rods have been on the roof for all that time.

Dominica hopes it will be done in 2 months. Lets keep are fingers crossed as there is always last moment challenges. If you feel compelled to share now is a good time to send a contribution to City of Joy Aid/Dominica Orphanage. It will be appreciated a lot.

On the front of my orphanage page is a photo of Peno/Junior when he was 3 and one last year. He is a very good student and we hope he can come to the US for university as he certainly has the brain. Blessings to all of you Marie

January 29, 2012:

A few updates/explanations  for the pictures I TOOK DURING MY 5 WEEKS trip to the Dominican Republic. For 4 weeks I shared with several groups of children to have true vacation. First  Punta Cana with  LeAnne. Then 3 in  La Estancia in La Romana as it is finally finished and very pleasant with a large pool for the kids. Then 4 teenagers

Then Dominica + 8.

I must say I am enjoying the quiet again which is the big plus of this golf estate


I had a chance to catch up with Dominica and her latest projects:


  1. La Urena is a lot cleaner and there is still twice a month a collect of trashes by the children/ Good large garbage bags still needed


2. The big news is that money is apparently ready to build finally 3 or 4 classrooms above the current classes which are too tight for the 25 teenagers/ So Dominica thinks that it will be done in 2 months, even if it takes 3 months it is wonderful news.


3. There are currently 415 children enrolled of which 190 do not pay as they belong to social plan as they cant afford it – but 30 or so have a sponsor. Dominica is so happy to be able to provide education to the teenagers she helped at the orphanage since they were 3 years old or younger.  If she accepts kids from public school for the last 2 years, the overall results of Dominica school will suffer because those teenagers are not at the same level. Now she has 100% success rate. She also was able to welcome 120 new students that have been on a waiting list for a long time.  I believe there are still 80 on the waiting  list at this time.. 


  1.  She has still the best scores over 1000 schools of the region.  The Minister of Education congratulates her every year but gives very little: this year they gave 80 new desks for high school students and 80 for  her younger classes and 50 or so computers for the young ones.


  1. In the afternoon, she has many classes to keep the kids out of the street and trouble – like English class (one lead by her 13 year old daughter who is an excellent teacher with   35 students).

then piano lessons,  guitar lessons. Choir (80 kids belong to it and she is starting to have a good reputation to go singing with 30 of them in Punta Cana at Hotel Iberostar (thanks to Jean and PB Dye) for Christmas carol and more.  But also companies like Orange ask the children to sing when they have a special event. Dominica hopes they will donate many computers for the room which look pitiful with currently only 8 working computers


but also sowing classes and other languages when there is money to pay for teachers.
 So what happened to our orfans and the dormitories?  They are still there from 6 am to 7 pm, THEN THEY GO to foster families, or grandparents etc

as the dormitories are being used for classes, and half of the dining area. So when the new classrooms are operative, she will have dormitories again


I asked about Penny Sue and she is no longer in La Urena, she has been adopted by a family and gives classes to the younger ones, somewhere in Higuey.  Peno/junior is very well alive, studying very well. He is 2 years away from graduation. And Joanna, 28 whose mother is blind and now giving massage, has 3 children of her own and same husband.

All 19 who graduated in June are at the university, some with more semesters paid for than others. They are also working to support themselves.  Jose Antonio is taking electrical engineering classes.


10.    Dominica also received a call from Martine who brought clothes and shoes to be picked up in Casa del campo in La Romana.  Dominica was here, so we met her and received the gifts which were welcomed by some of the kids she brought along. Interestingly, French Martine found us through the website, and followed  the Wish list, and voila magic happened. Thank you Martine


11.    I love this country as they invent or take advantage of opportunities.  Dominica came with the grandmother of originally 10 children. Totally BLIND who for years has been begging downtown with a child and later grand child.  But no more. She took a class for massage (along with 24 more) for 6 months/. She is quite good and strong as she gave me 6 massages at $11 each. I was happy and she too.  She is quite a woman and cooks for herself  etc  Now she regained her dignity. NICE


12.    I will update the wish list, by adding VITAMINs (+ outdated medicine  which is better than none!), cream for sweaty breasts line/insects/moskitoes/parasites

 -          White socks reaching the knee for their uniform


+ DVD as David donated a new DVD players for the orphans. I am sure you can find old DVD you no longer play, English, Spanish, whatever, kids love them , especially if there are singing… I brought Star wars, Lord of the Ring…


13.    Besides  computers, Dominica would love to find $16,000 to buy the small land attached to the dining area, so she can expand, and before someone buys it.  This is very much needed.


14.    Now that the orphanage/school runs pretty well, Dominica would like to start guiding/teaching/sponsoring what she learned to others directors and staff.  She definitely has something to teach/give them (besides her hard work) and that is called LOVE.


NB: If helpers or volunteers whom Dominica knows want to relax after. They are welcome to my apartment in La Estancia for a few days, let her know. She knows all the details.








November 22 2011:

"Dec. is getting close and our government requires that all the teachers and staff be paid
an extra month salary. It is always a challenge to find the extra $$$. Our teachers and staff do
not have insurance or any welfare. The monthly cost for the 25 teachers and staff is $ 5,000 US.
We will need this ammount for the extra month salary by December 15th. We start praying
that these extra funds will be there.<p>

Christmas dinner expenses for the children has been promised by BHE from Canada. Anyone is welcome to
to join so we can invite more children to Christmas dinner Eve. Or

We dont have yet a sponsor for Three King's Day...where the kids receive a toy that day (Jan. 6th).
We would love to be able to give a toy to each one of our good children! (cost is around $200??)

Also the property next to the orphanage that we need badly for more space, is on sale for $13,000 US.
So remember our children and their needs for Christmas, any gesture will be very much appreciated.

Much peace and blessings as always, Dominica"

November 1st -

"Hello dear Marie...We just received two more suitcases with Stewart and his mother. They met the kids and the whole school and promised me to return and visit another time. They really liked the children and i hope that they can come real soon and spend more time with us.

We received a bunch of white shirts for our children of the promise choir and more clothes for the cherups as well! Thank you for being thinking about us and suplying the needed items for the orphanage. I also got a few frames. I put pictures and it looks really beautiful.

Thank you for the five hundred check that we also received. It helps signifficaly with the multiple costs every single month.Be blessed, Dominica"

An angel LeAnne hold a breakfast every october from 7 am-11 am at Amore Breakfast at 309 Shore Road in Ogunquit, Maine. She just hosted her 6th Benefit Breakfast to raise money for Dominica Orphanage. The staff of Cafe Amore and Amore Breakfast donate their time and energy to help raise funds. 100% of the proceeds go to Dominica and the kids. Thanks to Sysco for donating eggs and Country Kitchen for providing bread! In the past, they have raised nearly $10,000 and helped with the cost of new bunk beds when the dormitories were expanded, provided funds for an enclosed courtyard where the children have a vegetable garden, and a shady yard, plus food, shoes, clothing and other necessities. They asked for a minimum donation of $10 per person for a full breakfast. The results are in and $1650 were raised.
Bravo Leanne for your continuing support and efforts. Without you, this will not happen!





September 2011

"Hello Marie, Karl, Jaqueline, Ali, Ellie, Dinny.. Thank you so much for your generosity towards our children. Every time you send us bags (6 this time), you solve many problems for children being naked or without shoes. Your funds also helped the last high school graduates to attend university, especially Erudis Reyes Romero who teaches the 4th graders in the morning plus of course, the general costs to run an orphanage like replacing batteries for the inversor, fix water pump so we dont have to carry buckets of water (since a month!) leakages, tuition for some of the social plan children, pay some elementary teachers and be responsible for 77 children and teenagers. You are often in the prayers of the children. We pray to heaven that good people can come to us and help us in our day to day work for the children. Be well and always happy, Dominica".

Thank you also for <b>all the volunteers you are sending us, whether they come for a day, a week, a month or 3 months, children love them and always have work or teaching for them!

June 24, 2011

"High School Graduation Ceremony.  Twenty one of our high school children finished high school and are ready to face the outside world. Five of these young people were sponsored with full scholarships during their university lives by Toronto Canada, Blue House Effect org. In addition, this organisation selected eight more children from our Social Plan to receive their first semester tuition to start college.

Here are the happy photos of the ceremony for 21 graduates who could not have done it without Dominica. Hurray to her and all the teachers who supported them. Bravo to all who made this possible.  


It took place on June 24th 2011 at a hotel in Santo Domingo East. Twenty one of our high school children are now ready to face life. The circle of friends of Jeanie and PB. Dye and Blue House Effect, in partnerships, joined efforts to give continued education support to the children. Once again... Muchas Gracias to these two organizations and its representants, Ms. Allana Rose Featherstone and Jeanie and P.B Dye..And to you Marie and your friends. If it were not for your oil business and your Web, we never would have had the opportunity to meet Jeanie and PB. and many many more of your people who helped and cared about us and our children. Thank you Marie!! Much hugs and kisses from all the children, Dominica" P.s.: The cost per student to attend the university is $500 US$ (18,000 pesos) per semester = twice a year. So $4,000 will cover a student university life, as far as the university is concerned. What a difference with the US costs!!! Please help a student if you can. Gracias

March 7 2011: Just back from Dominican Republic where Dominica takes care of 415 children in the school section and feeds 85 everyday, and of course she has a hard time paying the bills, as the adolescents have a BIG mouth!!!

Her pride this year is the 18 adolescents graduating (they are good students) and going to University in August if they have the money. About half of those students have been with her since they were 3 or 5 years old! 6 of them have a commitment from Allana and her marvelous group in Canada. Dominica has a celebration in a hotel on May 25 and invites everyone.

I now know why Dominica is loved in her community. She decided that the slum the school is in was filthy and she decided to do something about it. So very Friday, the children take a trash bag and come to school picking up every trash they find. Pretty soon the parents felt bad about kids doing that, so they stopped trashing the community where 3 to 4,000 people live. And when I came I commented on how clean the area was. It worked!!! Bravo Dominica.

Also, on my lunch there, Dominica asked to speak and started congratulating an 8 year old who had been abused at 6. She was in her corner and asked me constantly if she could trust me etc... Now Dominica spent 5 minutes congratulating her about her reading ability (finally) and how neat and cleaned she looked. The girl did not know what was happening, she had that beatitude smile on her face. Then everyone started clapping. Her self esteem is on its way back. She did 5 children like that. What a powerful way to build self confidence back on abused children.

Now, Dominica is so happy to see 18 children graduating. It has been a long process, as the school district would not allow her to teach beyond 4th grade, then 8 grade, and now since 2 years her “children” are able to go directly to university (with excellent grades) if they find the $1500 necessary per year

See their face. They need your help!

Also Dominica gave a group of volunteers coming to visit what children and teachers need most:

12 computers (laptop best) for the oldest students. They ave 6 and there is room for 20! Once we have those, the younger children will have access to them. As right now, the teacher has to repeat 3 times the class. A good second hand computer will work. Does someone has the time, or connections so we could have some donated. I always find it bizarre that Dominica receive the best compliments about the grades of her students among her large district schools (some 200 or so) but the government or private companies never offer to give her some equipment. She covered English classes for everyone but nowadays, they also need to be good in computers if they are to find a job. We need to concentrate on that.

Blessings, Marie

November 30: "We want to thank you for thinking of our children at this critical time. It has been very hard for me to maintain the school and the orphanage with all the costs we face each month. The older children assist the youngest with all their needs and help to do chores. It is so rewarding to see how different, respectful they are from the rest of the children in the community.They have become models to follow for the school district. We are planning to celebrate Christmas and invite anyone who wants to participate. Peace and gratitude. Dominica"

NOVEMBER 11: “Please extend my gratitude on behalf of all our wonderful children! Ali's regular contribution helps us give a better care to our program. The monthly costs are extremely high for us and people like Ali and Ms LeAnne –and a few other angels around us-- make this lovely heaven a reality for our children. Tell Tio Ali and Carole that we would like to see them by Christmas. Children appreciate receiving people and feeling loved by them.




Old News 2008-20010

Old News 2007-2008

Older News 2006

Older News 2005 -2006

Fundraising 2005

January 04: computer room project

November 2000: we bought 3 acres!



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