University of Vermont

Travel Study to the Dominican Republic
Community Empowerment through Grassroots Organization:
a travel study in AIDs education and batey life in the Dominican Republic
 ENVS 295, CDAE 295

Course Description

HIV/AIDS has reached epidemic proportions throughout economically and socially marginalized communities in the developing world.  Where communities have successfully curbed this spread, education and social change through community empowerment are most often the crucial factors.  This course gives students the opportunity to participate in an HIV/AIDS education and community development pilot project with the Batey Libertad Coalition in the Dominican Republic.  Bateyes are communities of Haitian and Dominican migrant workers that live in nearly complete isolation from Dominican society, and lack the most basic needs and human rights.  Initiated by a group of University of Vermont students, the Coalition was founded as a vehicle for HIV/AIDS education, to combat racism, and build community pride and economic opportunity in batey communities through the sport of soccer.  Soccer is an integral part of local cultures across the world and as such can be a powerful instrument for social change.  Students will work on projects with the Coalition and the Batey Relief Alliance with formal training from Grassroot Soccer, a non-governmental organization that uses professional soccer players to educate at-risk youth about the dangers of HIV/AIDS in Africa.  This effort will be Grassroot Soccer’s first outside of Africa.  Potential projects include: using soccer to break down social, gender, and economic barriers; art and music as a community development tool; opportunities for sustainable income generation; preventative health care; and language and literacy training.

Course Partners
Batey Libertad Coalition,
Grassroot Soccer,
Batey Relief Alliance,

Winter Break 2005
Thanksgiving Break 2005


Last modified May 30 2005 11:15 AM

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