Henry Lin, The 53rd Week’s founder, describes the idea:
“I feel like the foundation is there to improve the work we do in La Romana. There’s very little each of our teams can accomplish in one week when we’re there, and this is seen in duplication of efforts, miscommunications, a lack of a shared inventory, protocols, or way of doing things, and a narrow, short-term focus. If we could just get the 42 teams going down there to collaborate and join each other on the same page, we could ideally think of long-term, lasting, change.
We may only be able to contribute one week a year, but put all our trips together in shared common goals and just imagine what we could accomplish beyond our short time there. In the future, there are plenty of other communities worldwide, just like La Romana, who could benefit from synchronizing short term efforts. Together, our week-long trips can multiply into something bigger than each trip could individually accomplish.”
At present, The 53rd Week seeks to:
- Provide quality medical care for the Haitian refugees in La Romana, Dominican Republic
- Establish partnerships with local organizations and visiting teams to improve the efficiency, efficacy, and quality of healthcare delivery and the longevity of development projects
- Review, implement, and evaluate achievement of objectives through local consultation
- 42 volunteer teams from the United States, Canada, and other countries are partnered with the Good Samaritan Hospital and visit annually;
- The aid and resources that flow into La Romana represents a significant investment.
Our goal is to assist in long-term planning and partnership building to maximize the value of the short-term charitable investments made by visiting teams in La Romana. The 53rd Week endeavors to create a coalition of stakeholders and groups that work in La Romana, organizing and collaborating on goals to improve efficiency, long-term planning, and greater impact.
By forging links and building common ground between groups undertaking development work at a local level, 53rd Week aims to amplify efforts in reaching common goals to improve the lives of local indigent populations. Our long term goals are to build a successful network of collaborative models worldwide in other cities and countries where a critical mass of pro bono medical and other services has been reached.
The 53rd Week is currently not funded and is in the process of obtaining non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization.