Yes, I say I am always hungry but who am I kidding, I have not experienced real hunger. I have been blessed to always have food on my plate. I can give food to my family, to my friends and to my neighbors, and because you are probably also blessed that way, I want to partner with you to go beyond our comfort zone. Let’s lend a hand to those in real need, those that don’t always see food as a pleasure but as a luxury. Help me give to the hungry.
Food for Thought has been created to raise funds and goods to feed young students in the Dominican Republic, the country that I come from, Mi Tierra. For years I have been wondering when I would be ready to give back to others in a real impacting way but if I keep waiting for that day, I will keep coming up with excuses and it will never happen. So I want to stand up and do it today, that is why I am inviting you, yes you that are reading, I want you to read for pleasure but I also want you to give at least once if you can. I want to use this medium, this voice and this way of reaching others to give to those in need. I want to teach my daughter and the children of the world that we are all one, we are kind and we can help make a change.
Why the Dominican Republic?
In studies on the quality of education in Latin America, the Dominican Republic occupies one of the bottom rankings. For the past 2 years Dominicans have become ever more aware of a situation that has affected the quality of education for decades. The General Law of Education stipulates that the annual public expense on education should at least match 4% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but in reality it has often been 2% or less. Various protests have been organized in the streets, on the web and overseas asking the government to comply with law 66-97 article 197. The government has consistently said that it cannot honor the 4% mandate because it doesn’t have enough sources of funding. As of today, thanks to all the 4% movement and protests, the president laid out a plan to increase the budget item for education to 10 billion Dominican pesos (approximately 255 million USD), raising the total amount invested to approximately 2.62% GDP.
As you can see the Dominican youth is still receiving well below what the law establishes. How can there be quality of education when there are no resources for schools, supplies, food, payment of salaries etc. If you visit the Dominican Republic you will see how in rural areas, which is the majority of the country, kids are being taught out in the yards as there is no proper infrastructure to hold the demand of kids, or even worse you see malnourished kids that regardless of the quality of education, cannot focus or learn as they have not had a single meal during the day. And this is where I want to help. It breaks my heart that I will publish recipes of mouthwatering dishes with more ingredients than some Dominican kids can count. I want to pursue my dream but I want to also help the youth of Mi Tierra pursue theirs by going to school with a happy belly and a happy heart.
How to give?
Currently I am reviewing non profit organizations and partners for the Food for Thought cause. Please contact me if you would like to get involved or have a way of helping. Once we are ready and established we will count on you to help make a change. Thanks.