It is difficult to ask disabled youth to succeed when they are limited by an inaccessible environment. In the Dominican Republic education equity and access for students with disabilities is little to nonexistent. It's a very sad situation that needs to change.
Latinas & Lideres is proud to have partnered up with Johileny Meran and Mariela Regalado on a very special project, United, Promoting Leadership & Innovation of the Disabled (UPLIFT’D). This project aims to uplift youth with disabilities in under-resourced communities in Dominican Republic. We aim to provide funding for disability-related accommodations while promoting leadership and innovation in their own lives in an effort to nurture a balance of interdependence.
In our first project we UPLIF’D Darvin, the little brother of one of the mentors of our program. Darvin is a 16 year-old young man that has not had access to an education, services or therapies that he needed and still needs. After many months of fundraising and shipping and a five hour drive to his small town we got the chance to meet Darvin and his mother in person. As soon as he saw us he smiled and waved like he knew something special was about to happen. We are super proud to have improved Darvin’s quality of life with an electric wheelchair, a ramp to the entrance of his house and lots more. This project is just the beginning of the work Latinas & Lideres hopes to do to support children with special needs including those with speech and language disabilities.
Here is how we UPLIFT’D Darvin on October 2021:
✓ High powered electric wheelchair with heavy-duty wheels
✓ A walker
✓ Bathtub chair
✓ A tablet with educational games and internet
✓ Orthopedic sandals and shoes
✓ Shorts, t-shirts, underwear, and socks
✓ Personal care items
✓ Educational games and puzzles
✓ Graphic novels and picture books
✓ Funded a ramp that was built at the entrance of his house