A Path to Independence
Despite high rates of unemployment and poverty in the Dominican Republic, Wislina has hopes for a bright future.
Reported by Daniela Candelario
Communication Officer, NPH Dominican Republic
December 22, 2016
Unemployment is one of the main problems in the Dominican Republic. According to the U.N., in the last 20 years, the employment rate has been around 46%, with a much higher rate for men than for women. The unemployment rate is highest among young people between 15 to 24 years of age. As indicated by the Monitoring Report, in 2010, one out of every 20 persons is employed or working as an indigent (living in extreme poverty), and one in five people are poor in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, unemployment in the Dominican Republic is the root of many other social problems such as poverty, crime, and child exploitation.
Despite these bleak numbers, Wislina, one of our older sisters, has the chance to become a self-sufficient leader in her community. Below is her story in her own words.
I came to NPH in December 2003 without dreams, without goals, and I had nothing. Thanks to NPH I have confidence in myself. I am a confident person myself and am proud to be a part of NPH, and to bear witness that true love exists in others. In 2014 there was a dramatic change. After getting my high school diploma and completing my year of service as a receptionist in the house, it came time for me to become independent and start a career. At first I lived with an NPH partner, and I got a job at a major company called MSC. In this company, we are responsible for the importing and exporting of all goods to and from different parts of the world. My work involves customer service, documentation, and importing logistics. Following this job, I would like to rent a small apartment and continue to remain independent.
I am currently studying Tourism Management at the Catholic University of Santo Domingo. Working and studying at the same time has been a great challenge for me, but I wasn’t going to give up, and instead I continue to go after my dreams. Getting a job in the Dominican Republic is difficult, and even more so when you’re young and do not have much experience. I enjoy my work because I love what I do, I love interacting with people, and I work to give good service from the heart.
I remember my time at NPH as the best days of my life with school, activities, Mass, dances, working in the kitchen, children with special needs, summer internships, and everything was perfect. The time I most loved in the home was undoubtedly Christmas. It all began in the early mornings, as there was never a year that did not have people belting out Christmas carols. I loved them! I always loved the Christmas dinners, piñatas, and I could never forget the bonfire on December 31. When it was midnight we all hugged with tears in our eyes. There are so many nice things that I experienced at NPH that it would take me a lifetime to tell.
This year I want to plan a different Christmas with my aunt and brother Jimmy. I hope that they have a special dinner, and that they can wear nice clothes. My aunt and brother are the only direct family I know. They mean a lot to me, and so I want to work hard and help them.
My experience at NPH has been the best in my life. It is something nobody can ever take away from me, and I’m just lucky to be the person I am now.
I owe everything I have achieved to NPH, and therefore I wanted to give a little back of what I received. Now, with another work colleague, I sponsor a child in the home. I want everyone to know that in every small to large piece they give that they are forming a world, making professionals, they are doing something for themselves, and when you give anything from the heart that God sees it.
I am infinitely grateful to be alive, and for giving me such an amazing and happy life. I believe in NPH, and I believe in the good-hearted people. I think there is a better future for my brothers and sisters.
Wislina continues to receive support for her college expenses, and whenever she has free time or vacation time, she comes to spend time with her goddaughter and the girls in the house. She advises them, combs their hair, and shares with everyone as a good older sister. She is currently studying her fifth semester in college, and dreams of graduating with honors and to become a cruise manager. We are so proud of her!
3: “First National Immigrant Survey (ENI-2012)”. Santo Domingo: National Institute of Statistics (formerly ‘NSO’) http://countryoffice.unfpa.org/dominicanrepublic/drive/InformeENI-2012-General.pdf
Photo above: Wislina dreams of graduating college with honors and becoming a cruise manager. Photos below: Wislina at age 10; showing support at San Matias (special needs house) with Simona; and at work.