Early Childhood Care Program
The Early Childhood Center offers full-day care, education, and meals to children between the ages of 1 ½ to 3 years old. The Center provides safe care for the children of single mothers who are oftentimes left in the care of their siblings while their mothers work. The Center provides a comprehensive care and education program, supplies meals for the children, and prepares the children for kindergarten. The Early Childhood Center also provides employment opportunities for graduates of James Davis High School to work as teacher’s assistants. The Center is open from 7:30am to 5:00pm to accommodate the long work days of the mothers.
Aquaponics Fish Farming
Aquaponics is a dual system farming process which combines both fish farming and vegetable harvesting in a circulating two-tier water system.
The fish are farmed in large tanks from which the water is circulated to the second tier where vegetable plants are nourished by the nutrient rich water. The water circulates through the plant tier where it is re-oxygenated by the plants and then circulated back to the fish tank.
Each tank yields approximately 2000 fish which grow to be approximately 1 ½ pounds each five month growth cycle. The highly nutritious fish are offered to the community at a minimal price. TEARS is able to provide full-time employment for two community members who are trained to farm the aquaponics system. Other community members earn income by marketing the fish throughout the community.
Soccer Mentorship Program
The soccer mentoring program currently includes 130 youth between the ages of 6 and 18 who are trained by FIFA certified coaches. The players participate in a “travel” soccer division and play ___ games per month. Travel expenses, uniforms, and equipment are provided for by TEARS. All of the players are required to participate in three weekly practices as well as health education and life skill instruction..
The players in the soccer program participate in weekly Bible studies, group mentoring meetings, and are visited at their homes by the coaches. The structure and recreation offered by the program provide a safe and positive environment to combat the negative influences of barrio life to which the youth are vulnerable.
Health and Wellness Center
The TEARS Health and Wellness Center offers medical screening, dentistry and ophthalmology services as well as mental health counseling for the TEARS students and their families. The Wellness Center is staffed by a full-time nurse, a licensed social worker, two medical doctors, and several dentistry students. The students and families that receive care at the Center would not otherwise be able to afford the treatments at public facilities.
Water Treatment Plant
The water treatment plant meets the basic needs of the community by providing clean water. TEARS opened the plant in 2005 after recognizing that community members frequently became ill due to drinking unfiltered water. Due to the price and the lack of access to filtered water, many community members drank and used the barrio water which caused illnesses from parasites and bacteria. The plant produces 50,000 gallons of water per month which is sold for approximately 40 cents per 5 gallon jug. In addition to making water available within the barrio for purchase at the plant, the plant also provides home delivery and distributes water throughout surrounding communities. The treatment plant employs six full time employees and additional part-time workers. The income from the plant allows it to be self-sustaining and cover all the expenses, equipment, and employee salaries.
El Camino Church
El Camino Church was the original ministry of TEARS and grew out of community Bible study groups that Rod and Twila conducted with friends and neighbors in La Vega. The church aims to meet both the spiritual and practical needs of both church members and the community through various ministries and outreaches including youth and family programs, parenting programs and women’s programs.
Soto Tutoring Program
The tutoring program provides after school care, meals and tutoring to assist Haitian children. The tutors work with the children to help Haitan children in learning spanish, assisting with schoolwork and helping to ensure that the children are able to excel in their learning. The tutoring program currently serves approximately 25 Haitian children that are living in the Dominican.
Haitian Bible Institute
There is a large number of Haitan immigrants living within the Dominican Republic the Haitian communities have grown in recent years.
The TEARS Haitian Bible Institute offers support and training for Haitian ministry leaders. The leaders are trained in Biblical studies and receive training and oversight to serve as in full time ministry within the Haitian community.