El Cercado, Dominican Republic
El Cercado is located in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic near the border of Haiti – one of the poorest countries in the world. The Child Nutrition Program (formerly known as the Infant Survival Program implemented from 1993-1995) began again in 2004 in response to a request from a physician working in the Dominican Republic named Dr. Canario. He had been witnessing an increase in malnutrition in El Cercado for several years due to poor economic conditions and several seasons of drought.
The Child Nutrition Program is an outpatient program that provides whole milk, vitamins, and treatment for severely malnourished children. It also provides treatment for illnesses and parasites, teaching in health care and hygiene, and training in proper nutrition to the families living in this desperately poor area. Children are admitted to the program for one year, rehabilitated, and are gradually phased out in order that new children may be treated.
Cora Hunse is a Canadian nurse practitioner who is dedicated to and passionate about helping improve the lives of those in need. It was through Cora that Careforce International was introduced to Dr. Canario and became aware of the need in El Cercado. She spends several months a year in El Cercado doing consults for the CNP and admitting children into the program. She is also involved in other humanitarian projects in which she is responsible for providing medical and personal care to children and families in need.