Sonia Hane, inspiring to many, saw many kids roaming the streets of the Dominican Republic
especially along the border near Haiti. This broke her heart and she began to take several of
these kids home with her, providing them a safe place to sleep and a hot meal. After some time,
she was able to find a house. This house was a 4 bedroom and yet the need was so great she
had over 30 kids in there. Sonia devoted herself to these kids while her husband worked to
support them. Sonia remembers not having enough food for the kids, and taking food from her
home to feed the orphans.
Sonia has worked tirelessly without pay since 1993, struggling to save as many kids as possible.
Finally, she was able to move the children from the small house to a larger facility. This became
Ninos de Cristo, the orphanage.
Today that orphanage houses over 160 boys and girls, a private school, a medical clinic, a church, and a
workforce development program for the women of the community who are trying to provide for
their families. The children have the opportunity to join sports teams, and they use the athletic
field at the orphanage.
Ninos de Cristo also has a boys dorm which began in the original house Sonia started with. Last
year, however, Marc Anthony’s foundation built the boys facility to give more boys a home. It is
equipped with a commercial kitchen, laundry room, baseball field and areas for other sports,
some water games, a school, and much more. Unfortunately, because Ninos de Cristo has
existed because of Sonia’s tireless efforts without a salary and only a handful of volunteers, this
has presented an urgent need! There is a need for additional staff, daily necessities, and so
much more that is required to maintain the grounds that cover several acres of this $2M facility.
I had the privilege of touring all the facilities in February. It is incredible to see the devotion of the
volunteer staff and an advisory board consisting of people from Italy, New York, Orlando, and
other places committed to providing for these children. One major difference I saw was the
emphasis on an education through college or trade school. That one difference will break the
cycle of poverty and injustice allowing these orphans to grow up and provide for their future
families. I was fortunate enough to meet one girl who was raised in the orphanage, recently
married, and came back to the school as a teacher. Some of these children have come to the
US to intern with successful entrepreneurs. One woman is making a difference and that
difference could ultimately affect your community. The world has become a small place; what
we do in our back yard can have an impact on the other side of the world. Even though these
children seem to be a world away, they aren’t. If you’d like to sponsor a child’s daily needs or his
education click here.