Speaking Out


Beri Esfefany Peña Enecia, 16, teaches younger children in a Bible school in the Dominican Republic.

Beri and her family live in a community of Dominican families of Haitian ancestry, many of whom have worked in the sugar industry for generations. Ninety percent of these families live below the poverty line.

Beri battled depression several years ago. “I used to see friends together. I felt so lonely that they didn’t include me,” she says. Things changed when she met a kind Peace Corps volunteer and became involved with World Vision. She is now a sponsored child.

“All the after school activities made me feel better,” she says. Today, Beri is a shining star in her community. She is deeply involved in her church. World Vision works through the churches to create awareness about teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and gender equity.

In the Dominican Republic, every 48 hours, a woman is killed in domestic violence. World Vision works to ensure boys respect girls and girls respect themselves. World Vision created clubs for teens in sports like baseball and soccer and clubs that help teens communicate the dangers of HIV and AIDS, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy.

Beri is a good example of the success of this work. She is involved in school activities that focus on emergency response in this hurricane-prone country. She teaches Bible school for children. “My happiness is children,” she says. Beri preaches in her neighborhood, a slum called a batey, where World Vision has supplied clean water and latrines. And she thanks God for releasing her from her depression.


Photo©2012 Abby Stalsbroten/World Vision

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