OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

GraceWorks Inc in Stamford, CT

We propose to fund a holistic mental health program to bring relief to those afflicted by their dire living conditions in the D. R. & India.

Photo of Ralph
4 2

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The Dominican Republic: The century-old conflict between the D.R. and Haiti has spawned large pockets of violence, displacement, and both individual and collective trauma, in these contiguous areas. Depression and hopelessness are rampant, especially in the at-risk Haitian community in the Dominican Republic.

We’ve identified a potential partner in the D.R., the Dispensario Médico Nuestra Señora de Fátima, which is currently providing mental health services in Bonao. While we intend to review other such services, this group may be ideally suited for our purposes since it also has a branch in Haiti.

India: Chronic poverty created by a host of natural and human causes leaves entire swaths of people without hope, peace and dignity. Mental health is a notable casualty. We wish to alleviate this situation.

The Carmelite Sisters’ educational and social outreach groups are spread out in India. They have several institutions where creating a health clinic is a distinct possibility. We’ll be conferring with them to see where the need is great and feasibility optimum.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries will be individuals of all ages and sexual orientations traumatized by war, poverty, and other societal ills. They will have access to much-needed mental health when, due to the circumstances, that is the last thing aid workers think about.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The president of GraceWorks is a native of India with extensive contacts there. The vice president is a Dominican with good connections in the D.R. The idea of providing mental health in situations marked by conflict, endemic poverty, and related problems, if not new, is at least one that is, as of now, observed mainly in the breach. Both organizations to which we are considering aligning ourselves in the two countries are well-established Catholic institutions. We are confident that their long-time service to the communities they work in will help us make optimum use of the funds we would make available to them.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

GraceWorks reaches out to people in need in India and Africa and now hopes to extend its work to impoverished and problematic areas in the western hemisphere.

www.graceworksinternational.org

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

When I visited Sneha Sadana in Byadgi, (Karnataka, India,) under the aegis of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa, a place which houses and educates fifty indigent children, I was touched by the joy and gratitude of the children. They were being lifted out of poverty and what appeared to be a bleak future. I wished to help the sisters extend their work to bring solace and meaning to more children from the surrounding villages.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

All the projects of the Carmelite sisters that we have highlighted on our web site and chosen to assist deal with poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and illness--problems that militate against peace, prosperity and planet. For instance, the underground water tank we helped build in Jharkhand, India, happens to be in a politically difficult area where people's lives and future are undermined by constant conflict and material scarcity. The cistern for water harvesting frees 400 tribal girls to focus on their studies rather than trudge for hours to collect a potful of water. Furthering their education promises to lift them out of poverty and also provide them with a new set of options, hopefully sensitive to the health of the planet.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We’ve identified a potential partner in the D.R., the Dispensario Médico Nuestra Señora de Fátima, which is currently providing mental health services in Bonao. While we intend to review other such services, this group may be ideally suited for our purposes since it also has a branch in Haiti.

The Carmelite Sisters’ educational and social outreach groups are spread out in India. They have several institutions where creating a health clinic is a distinct possibility. We’ll be conferring with them to see where the need is great and feasibility optimum.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Bonao, (D.R.) where we envision having the clinic, is a mid-sized city with a strong Catholic presence. The sisters whom we would be allied with have been working in the community for decades. Byadgi (India) is predominantly Hindu--as is the case with most Indian towns and cities. However the Carmelite Sisters, who would be our host organization, have been engaged in social outreach in the area for over ten years and would be able to provide us with the necessary infrastructure for a clinic.

Geographic Focus

The Dominican Republic and India.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Two years would be a solid block of time for us to select mental health professionals--a therapist and a counselor--and establish a modest clinic in an area accessible to people with few resources in Bonao, D.R. and Byadgi, India.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)

4 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dr. Jin Lee
Team

Mental health is such a big issue not only abroad but also in the USA. My work in screening for mental health issues for kids under age 8. As a CT native, would love to collaborate in some way.

View all comments