We are working with the Social Enterprise Institute to build service learning projects for our Summer I semester trip to the Dominican Republic. The focus of our projects are to improve livelihoods through microfinance in two communities, and build a drip irrigation project for a rural farm community.
At Northeastern, we have worked in our sister community in the Dominican Republic for five years, and many alumni have ties to the people there. Similarly, we believe that microfinance is a gift of opportunity that continues to give, as the loan is repaid and given to another person in the community to grow his/her business and break the cycle of poverty. Lastly, we believe that philanthropy by students/to students is a powerful way to instill the act of giving into all that we do, throughout our undergraduate careers and beyond.
These projects are more than just one-time donations. In these communities, our work will produce various income-generating activities for these families, creating opportunities and impact that will last long after we leave.
Our total goal is to raise $6000 to fund the following service learning projects:
1. Establish two microfinance funds in partnership with MOSCTHA, a non-profit organization registered in the US, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic - $5000
$4000 of the money raised will go towards the creation of two separate savings based microfinance funds which will each distribute 10 loans of $200 to business owners in the communities of Matos Los Indios and Monte Plata.
Both funds will be implemented by the Social Enterprise Institute's Class of 2013 using Oxfam International’s “Saving for Change” Curricula. The on-going cycle of redistributing the funds once the loans are repaid will be overseen by current, locally-elected, community leadership in Mata Los Indios and by MOSTCHA with the supervision from Esperanza International in Monte Plata.
We will apply the remaining $1000 towards implementation costs, in country/ground travel, and a contingency fund to be monitored by the community leadership.
2. Build a drip irrigation system in partnership with International Development Enterprise and the Clinton Global Initiative University - $1000
$1000 will be put towards the implementation of a drip irrigation system that is designed by engineers at IDE (International Development Enterprises). Through a unique partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University and Northeastern University's Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, we have already received $3,000 towards our drip irrigation project. The additional funding requested will help move us forward with implementation.
The Social Enterprise Institute is grounded in the belief that business can be a powerful tool in helping to alleviate poverty in the developing world by utilizing enterprise based solutions. We believe we are building the next generation of global business leaders.
This is the fifth year of the SEI Dominican Republic Field Study Program. This year’s group consists of 32 students primarily from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and College of Social Science and Humanities. In addition to carrying out their field study work, the group aims to identify international co-op connections for future students to embark on six month co-ops in partnership with MOSCTHA, Esperanza International, and Oxfam International.
Visit us online at http://www.northeastern.edu/sei/