The Private Sector and Government in the Dominican Republic Collaborate to Fight Poverty
Earlier this year, the Social Policy Cabinet in the Dominican Republic signed an official agreement with Dominican start-up company Jompéame to work together to funnel resources and aid to help people in the country suffering from extreme poverty. After signing the agreement, the Coordinator of the Social Policy Cabinet Tony Peña stated, “It is an honor for our entire team to collaborate with the Jompéame Foundation, together we will do more for those who have less.” The Social Policy Cabinet’s collaboration with Jompéame allows the government aid to be more impactful. From the private sector, Jompéame is uniquely suited to raise donations that aid the government in alleviating poverty.
Over the past decades, the country has experienced sustained economic growth and stability, and has succeeded in meeting the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015, according to the WFP of the United Nations. However, 40.4% of all people in the Dominican Republic live in poverty and 10.4% live in extreme poverty. The healthcare systems within the country and the underdeveloped agricultural infrastructure have caused widespread nutritional problems, such as undernutrition and anemia. In 2015, Katherine Motyka sought to find solutions to these problems and created her business, Jompéame to alleviate poverty within the Dominican Republic.
Jompéame is a mass financing organization that seeks out situations of poverty in the Dominican Republic and collects donations through their website to provide aid. Since 2015, Jompéame has raised over $350,000 (USD) in donations for 300 causes with the help and support of 11,000 donors. Their donors are everyday citizens from around the world who read individual’s stories highlighted on Jompéame’s website. This business model has allowed Jompéame to raise funds efficiently and help individuals across the country.
Their organization has impacted the lives of over 6,000 people in the Dominican Republic and they have reached their fundraising goal on every single project they have ever started. They are the first online collection platform for the social causes of emergency and poverty in the Dominican Republic. Within the organization, they have created online fundraisers for children to pay for their education and for the elderly to pay for medicine and treatments.
Motyka is the second Dominicana to be ever accepted to Singularity University at NASA where she graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering. After university, Motyka discovered entrepreneurship and won the Startup Weekend Santo Domingo competition twice. In 2013 Motyka traveled to Malaysia to learn about global trends in entrepreneurship. Her experiences in Malaysia proved to be very valuable because after her return to the Dominican Republic she started Jompéame.
The Agreement Coming to Fruition
The agreement mentioned earlier between Jompéame and the Social Policy Cabinet has already made a difference within the Dominican Republic. The organizations worked together to provide housing for 13-year-old Joel Lebrón and his siblings. Lebrón had been suffering in poverty without his parents, living in a home he constructed himself out of wood and plastic in a tree. The Social Policy Cabinet donated a home for Lebrón and his siblings while Jompéame fundraised to provide furniture, appliances, food, and other basic necessities.
“Joel’s case shocked Dominican society and, on the instructions of President Luis Abinader, the Social Policy Cabinet is handing him over his house and the Dominican State will closely monitor this case so that no one takes advantage of this situation and the minor can have a healthy life.” –Tony Peña (Coordinator of the Social Policy Cabinet)
Expanding Aid to Haiti
Recently, Jompéame expanded their aid efforts beyond the Dominican Republic to Haiti after an earthquake caused damage throughout the country on August 14th. They are now working with the Dominican Postal Institute (INPOSDOM) to provide aid and resources to Haiti for those affected by the earthquake. Jompéame has collected over 15 boxes full of food, medicine, clothing, feminine hygiene products, and other essential supplies to donate.
INPOSDOM manages the mail services in the Dominican Republic, and they are allocating a number of their vehicles to bring supplies to Haiti. They decided to work with Jompéame because their company is better suited to solicit donations in an efficient manner.
“My life is about helping others and with this making this world a better world.” –Katherine Motyka (CEO/Cofounder of Jompéame). Since its inception in 2015, Jompéame has been recognized by numerous organizations for their philanthropic efforts. They won the Impúlsate Popular Award from the Banco Popular Dominicano. They also have been recognized as a promising business by Forbes.
Further, they have also won the Cemex-Tec prize and the Tic-Americas prize. They have won multiple start-up competitions throughout the Dominican Republic and were recognized as finalists for the National Youth Award. Recognition for their work has allowed Jompéame to expand and help even more people.
Administrative Director of INPOSDOM, Luis Estrada thanked the foundation for the altruistic work it is doing at this time to help Haitians. Jompéame’s collaboration with INPOSDOM allows both organizations to provide more impactful aid to Haiti in an efficient manner.
Collaboration Leading to a Greater Impact
Through their crowdfunding platform, Jompéame has made a significant impact in reducing poverty within the Dominican Republic. Collaborating with the government of the Dominican Republic has created positive change. Traditionally, poverty has been a focus of governments rather than private companies and enterprises, however, partnerships among these sectors are proving effective in poverty alleviation.
No one can fight poverty on their own. By working with a variety of government organizations, Jompéame is able to increase their impact. To learn more about Jompéame’s work and their individual projects check out their website https://www.jompeame.com/ or their Instagram @jompeame.
Michael Davis is a current undergraduate student at Tulane University studying Finance and International Relations through the Altman program in International Studies and Business. His interest in Latin America began when he took his first Spanish class in 6th grade. Since then, Michael has traveled throughout Latin America learning about entrepreneurship, policy, and globalization. He is interested in sharing the stories of young entrepreneurs who work to expand development within Latin America. He believes their stories can inspire others and reshape the narratives of Latin America. In Latina Republic, he is excited to highlight these voices in his stories to deepen his own understanding of Latin America as well as his readers. He looks forward to inspiring innovation with his stories through Latina Republic!