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PITS Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Santiago, Dominican Republic

What is PITS? The program PITS (Spanish: Prevención de Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual) is a branch of the non-governmental organization FCID (Spanish: Fundación Cuidado Infantil Dominicano). An organization focused in community health, FCID was founded in 1990 with the vision “health and integrity for children and families in empowered communities.” FCID supports the development of the communities and neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic through six distinct programs: Development of Community Health, Rehabilitation from the Community, Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections, School Inclusion, and Early Stimulation for Infants Born in High Risk. The program PITS was founded in 2007 as a reaction to the high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and adolescent pregnancies in the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean is second in the World (after the continent of Africa) of the regions with the highest rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Also, the Dominican Republic is one of the five countries of the Americas with the highest rates of adolescent, undesired pregnancies. According to a study by Despacho de la Primera Dama in 2007, only 28.6% of Dominican adolescents reported the use of condoms in their first sexual experience. Between the ages of 12 and 19, one quarter of Dominican women become pregnant. In addition, there is no system of sexual education in public schools, and many children, adolescents, and young people are missing the information they need to protect themselves. All of this signals the great need for programs such as PITS, which provides sexual education to the marginalized communities of the Dominican Republic. They help people understand all aspects of their personal health, help them eliminate dangerous misconceptions, and help them empower themselves.

The program enters into communities and neighborhoods to discuss with the community leaders the needs of the people. With this information, the PITS program trains volunteers from the community to teach the solutions to these needs to young people in the community schools. Today, the program not only teaches about STIs but also life skills (values, selfesteem, decision making, etc.), physical and emotional health (healthy relationships, violence, adolescence, etc.) as well as sexual health (sexual identity, family planning and contraceptives, sexual abuse, etc.). These volunteers become multipliers, people who receive information and multiply it in their communities, so that their students can multiply it in their own lives. The multipliers facilitate talks about the theme mentioned above in local schools, educating school-age children about the solutions to the necessities of the community. At the beginning of the program in every community, PITS stays to observe and help the multipliers, but after approximately one year, they leave, allowing the multipliers the opportunity to disseminate the information independently. The multipliers continue providing this useful and important information in their communities, thanks to the help and training provided by PITS. Through this process, the PITS team ensures that the multipliers are well-informed and well-equipped to teach in their communities for years to come.

DONATE! Although the education provided by PITS is invaluable, the resources they require do have value. Please help the children, adolescents, and youth of the Dominican Republic through supporting PITS. Thank you so much for your help! If you are interested in the PITS program, please contact:

How to help! In order to continue providing this needed service to the marginalized communities and neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic, PITS needs to cover certain costs. Here are the approximate costs they need to pay to train one group of multipliers (in Dominican pesos and USD): First, PITS enters into the community for the “contact visit,” when they inform the people about the program and the work that they do.  Transportation = $450 RD/$11.50 USD  Snack provided for the people of the community = $300 RD/$7.50 USD The community leaders decide if they want to participate in the program, and they take one month to contact the program. If they decide to participate, PITS provides a complete day of training in sustainable community development, in order to introduce the community to the work they will do and lay the foundation for the training that follows.     

Transportation = $450 RD/$11.50 USD Breakfast = $600 RD/$15.00 USD Lunch = $1,300 RD/$32.50 USD Snack = $200 RD/$5.00 USD Materials: copies of the themes, flipcharts/poster board, markers, others = $2,200 RD/$55.00 USD

The next step is teach the multipliers the themes of the program, and PITS conducts weekly visits to the community over three months. Each visit costs the following:

 Transportation = $450 RD/$11.50 USD  Snack = $200 RD/$5.00 USD

 Materials: copies of the themes, flipcharts/poster board, adhesive tape, markers = $200 RD/$5.00 USD In these three months, the program has twelve visits with the multipliers which cost $850 RD/$21.50 USD each. Total: $10,200 RD/$258.00 USD. This is followed by two months of practice with the multipliers, when PITS teaches them how to teach the themes to others. The multipliers practice teaching and the PITS team corrects any mistakes. They have eight meetings in total, and each meeting costs the same as the weekly visits mentioned before. Total: $6,800 RD/ $172.00 USD.

At this time, PITS gives each multiplier a manual with all the themes taught by the program, and the multipliers choose the themes with the greatest relevance in their community to teach. Each manual costs $225 RD/$5.50 USD. After practicing teaching the themes, the multipliers find a school or other group of young people to teach. The PITS team observes their work, making sure that everything is going well and helping if needed. The team also provides the multipliers with any needed materials during this time, which lasts three months. Also during this time, the program conducts weekly meetings (a total of twelve meetings). Each meeting and the materials cost:  Transportation = $450 RD/$11.50 USD  Materials: flipcharts/poster board, markers, visual aids for the talks = $200 RD/$5.00 USD  Snack = $200 RD/$5.00 USD Each meeting costs $850 RD/$21.50 USD, and for a total of twelve meetings, this costs $10,200 RD/$258.00 USD. After this follows a period of help from afar, which consists of a bi-weekly observation by PITS. The multipliers begin to work independently. This period lasts three months; the PITS team participates in six meetings that cost:  Transportation = $450 RD/$11.50 USD

 Snack = $300 RD/$7.50 USD  Materials = $200 RD/$5.00 USD Each visit costs $950 RD/$24.00 USD, for a total of $5,700 RD/$144.00 USD.

Your donation makes a difference! Each donation supports the people of the Dominican Republic.

DONATE! To train one group of multipliers for one year, here are the total costs: Transportation………..……... $18,000 RD/$460.00 USD Food………………………………. $10,600 RD/$265.00 USD Materials……………………….. $12,050 RD/$300.00 USD

Total……………. $40,650 RD/$1,025.00 USD

You can help the children, adolescents, and youth of the Dominican Republic with your donation! All the donations go to support PITS and help them provide community health services to the people who really need them. To send a check: Fundación Cuidado Infantil Dominicano Prevención de Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual Calle 2 #34 Reparto Perelló Santiago, República Dominicana 51000 For direct transfers (Pesos): Banco Popular Fundación Cuidado Infantil Dominicano Prevención de Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual Account Number: 714-18610-3 For direct transfers (USD): Banco Popular Fundación Cuidado Infantil Dominicano Prevención de Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual Account Number: 723-47858-2

Thanks for your interest in PITS!

Your donation can do something incredible in the lives of the people of the Dominican Republic.

Thank you so much for your support!

If you have questions or are interested in PITS, please contact:

PITS - Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases