Donated vans finally released by Dominican customs
After being held by the Dominican Republic (DR) customs department for months, two new, donated 15-passenger vans have officially made it to Children of the Nations (COTN) headquarters in the Dominican Republic.  Though the waiting process was long—due to complications of paperwork with the government—vehicle donations will be easier in the future because of it.  “It’s been one of those processes that took so much longer than anyone thought,” says Debbie Moutier, COTN–International Dominican Republic Liaison. “It’s just one of those things.  The good news is that because of this process, we have laid the foundation for smooth transportation for all of our future containers and anything else we send.”

After the earthquake hit Haiti in January, 2010 COTN Venture Teams made up of medical professionals immediately began streaming into the Dominican Republic.   The teams of people combined with the huge amount of donations soon made evident the need for additional and more reliable transportation than COTN had at the time.  Not only did more people need to be transported around the Dominican Republic and into Haiti, but so did the donations of food, water, and medical supplies.  A few team members took this need back home with them and shared it with their network of friends.  Not long after, two new, donated vans were on their way to Children of the Nations–Dominican Republic.  “Without our partners, we cannot go deeper and reach more children,” says Doug Engberg, Senior Director of Advancement at COTN.  “Here, a partner saw the need and responded by being an advocate for this mission.”

That mission is to care for orphaned and destitute children—one thing these vans helped do even before they arrived in the Dominican Republic.  Once the COTN–DR staff knew the vans were on their way, they gave their older van to COTN partner in Haiti, Daniel Vallon, who has been using it for the past few months while he conducts feasibility studies.  He visits the families and children who were cared for in COTN’s clinic after the earthquake—bringing them food, water, and encouragement.  The staff quickly realized that sending the older van into Haiti didn’t attract as much attention as the newer vans would have—keeping down the chances of it being stolen or broken into.  

Now, with the arrival of the new vans to replace the old one that will remain in Haiti, the COTN–Dominican Republic staff is relieved.  These vans will reduce the need to rent buses or vehicles to transport teams to and from the airport—making transportation much easier.  “I feel really happy with the arrival of the vans,” says Francisco Tejeda, COTN–Dominican Republic Country Director.  “Having the vans here at the office is a great blessing.”

The vans will continue to help with transporting needed supplies over the border into Haiti. They’ll also transport teams to ministry sites within COTN and provide any other transportation need that the COTN–Dominican Republic staff has.  COTN–USA Resources Director, Dave Schertzer, worked closely with the staff in the Dominican Republic to get the vans shipped as well as getting them released from customs.  He celebrated recently when the vans reached COTN: “I look forward to hearing the stories of our Dominican Republic staff now being able to take supplies over to Haiti and all the teams that will be served by these vans and to hear about children who will be able to go to school, receive medical attention, gain opportunities—some for the first time—because the vans are there to transport them.”

Find out other ways you can help with needs in the Dominican Republic or Haiti and be part of COTN’s vision of raising children who transform nations.  Please visit our giving opportunities
Go back | Date: 29 Sep 2010
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