In 2001, Mustard Seed Communities was asked to establish a home for children with disabilities in Dominican Republic. In the small town of Cangrejo on the outskirts of Puerto Plata, MSC acquired property and constructed a home called Hogar Immanuel. Our program in DR continues to grow along with the need for care of children with disabilities. In addition to our residential care facilities, MSC Dominican Republic supports the surrounding communities. Food distribution centers combat malnutrition and food insecurity, while education efforts aim to break a local cycle of poverty.
Children & Adults with Disabilities
Hogar Immanuel is presently home to more than 20 children. The residents’ disabilities include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, psychomotor delays, mental impairment, autism, epilepsy, physical deformations, deafness, and blindness. More than 20 employees, including an occupational therapist, work together to care for the children and ensure that their daily needs are met. Several of the children attend physical therapy, occupational therapy, and special education classes depending on their personal abilities. A small number of children who are more physically capable attend a local special needs school in Puerto Plata.
In 2007, MSC Dominican Republic purchased an adjoining piece of property for future expansion of the home. The initial phase of expansion began in early 2013. As of mid-2016, the fully developed property includes four residential care cottages, a kitchen, a utility building, a physiotherapy room, on-site mission volunteer housing, and a chapel. The expansion doubled our capacity for care, allowing Hogar Immanuel to accommodate a total of 48 children upon completion. MSC Dominican Republic is often asked to take on additional children in the area and this growth empowers us to meet that need and to serve a greater population of the most vulnerable in Dominican Republic.
Christ in the Garbage Ministries
The Christ in the Garbage school closed in January of 2016. The Sosua landfill was sold to a private company in July of 2016, eliminating MSC's access to serve the communities who historically subsided on the dump. As an organization, we continue our commitment to uplifting entire communities, and will evaluate how best to serve this area near our home in the face of change.
Stay tuned for updates on the Christ in the Garbage program, and for ways that you can support the communities and families we serve.