Annual Report & Projects
DECEMBER 2022 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
I have been asked a number of times during the year, how did the “Foundation” come about?
What have we accomplished and are we doing anything in addition to the HOGAR. So, I
thought a brief recap would be appropriate.
In the mid-1980s, Harold Wooden, a member of the Delran, Delanco Riverside Rotary was on vacation in the Dominican Republic. While there he attended a weekly meeting of the Santo Domingo Rotary and met Armando Rosenberg, a Rotary Past District Governor. Woody was invited to visit a club project called Hogar Escuela San Salvador. Upon arrival he found some 100 children sleeping on springs, with little to eat and poor housing.
His life changed in that moment. He returned home, persuaded his club to assist in improving
that situation. Over the next several years with help from Rotarians, Rotary International,
Dominicans and many others a dormitory was built on a fifteen acre plot and donated to the
government in 1988. It was placed in the hands of the Catholic Church for operation of the
new Hogar Escuela Armando Rosenberg. A group of Nuns from Valencia, Spain, were
assigned to provide management of the facility. Soon, more than sixty orphaned and
abandoned children were provided a home, food, medical care, discipline and a lot of LOVE.
However the picture was clear to Woody and his fellow Rotarians that ongoing help would be needed to make it successful. The Orchid Foundation was created in 1989. Its sole mission was support of the Hogar Escuela Armando Rosenberg.
During the past 33 years, Orchid has provided aid and assistance in many ways. Annual
financial support for food, clothing and supplies, building maintenance, children’s
playground, 23 forty foot shipping containers full of medical supplies, food, clothing, tools
and even a donated pizza oven.
A Youth exchange program was developed in the 90s where qualified students could spend 6 weeks, 6 month or even a full year here in New Jersey with host families attending school.
New Jersey high school and college groups would travel to Santo Domingo to spend two
weeks interfacing with the kids as well as working on various projects such as painting the
dormitory inside and out.
During this time the government and church planned and instituted on the fifteen acre site,
schools, a small clinic and a church to provide benefits not only to the kids at the Hogar, but
the outside community as well.
The three schools, grade, mid and high currently provide an education for 1850 students.
Courses at the high school include IT, accounting, nursing, tourism and marketing.
Today a new clinic is approaching completion. A cable car connection between Sabana
Perdida and downtown Santo Domingo was completed in 2018. The most well received
improvement in 2021 was electricity 24/7.
Continued support of the Hogar with $25,000 having been provided in 2022 for dormitory
maintenance, a new stove and oven, clinic equipment and supplemental food/clothing
remains our primary focus.
However with the constant problems in the world, the Board reviewed where it might be
helpful and settled on refugee children coming out of the Ukraine. It revised its mission
statement to include “Refugee Children” and searched for opportunities. Board member
contacts proved helpful. After completing due diligence including two onsite visits, it settled
on the Nidaros Family Trust in Krakow and Koninki Poland an hour away and agreed to
provide financial assistance in the amount of $10,000 by mid-December.
They provide food, clothing, housing, education, medical care and relocation assistance
within Poland, Italy, Germany and France to more than 150 mothers and children from ages
four months to seventeen. Their motto is: “HAPPY ISLAND” Their mission is to “Make the
world a better place for us and our children”
Your support of Orchid and what we do is very much appreciated.
September 2022 Hogar Visit
In September 2022, Board Members Juan & Jacquie Gonzalez had the opportunity to visit the Hogar and Sister Lourdes. Below are the photos of the Hogar.