For those who live in Bateys, communities of mainly undocumented Haitians in the Dominican Republic, not only is food scarce (no grocery chains or businesses), but it is also difficult for residents to engage in self-sustaining ways to feed their families. The government does not provide aid. None. As a result, many children are severely malnourished and underdeveloped.
a relationship-based approach
Pascal’s Pantry is a non-profit organization that uses the proceeds raised to
go toward the best practices of international sustainable development in
service to these families affected by food scarcity. A relationship-based
approach focused on developing community agency is the essential piece to
changing the situation. Open dialogue and relationship development leads to
collaborative trusting relationships and an environment where community
members are actively engaged in decision-making processes regarding their
health. This approach ensures that communities have a central role in directing
program activities. Honoring these relationships is our first and most important task.
Advancing community agency
Agency is about people’s ability to act individually or collectively to further their
own interests. Human agency grows as the community protects dignity, builds
resilience, and reduces vulnerability.
As Pascal’s Pantry continues its commitment to the children of Batey Dos, their
development is deeply connected to the well-being of the community within
which they live. For this reason, Pascal’s Pantry seeks to augment agency in the
community while diminishing its own role over time. The Community
Development Committee, (made up and led completely by members of the
community), is taking the initiative on its own development plan.
Narayan, D. and Petesch, P., 2007, 'Agency, Opportunity Structure and Poverty
Escapes', in Narayan, D. and Petesch, P, Moving Out of Poverty, World Bank,
Washington DC, pp 1-44.