The Dirt Road Project (TDRP) was founded by April Benson, BSN, RN, in 2017, following several medical mission trips to Haiti. A registered nurse by trade, April felt the calling to build an organization which met the needs of the underserved in her community as well as in Haiti and other underdeveloped countries.
The Dirt Road Project inspires courageous living through empowering under-served communities with hope, passion, and purpose; leads in love and reaches the broken with respect and integrity; values all human life, particularly society’s most vulnerable; and seeks to develop diversity through meaningful enterprise by embracing all peoples.
The Dirt Road Project builds communities of hope through implementation of sustainable initiatives which empower, promote, and produce prosperous futures for the underserved .
The Dirt Road Project - What We Do
The Dirt Road Project is focused on building communities of hope for underserved people in our world through sustainable opportunities, focusing on the four pillar cornerstones of the organization (1) healthcare (2) education (3) agriculture/nutrition (4) housing. In Rochester, TDRP is focused on eradicating the housing crisis for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through creation of a planned community, Village of Hope (VOH). This initiative will consist of building 20 noncertified homes, creating independence for 80 residents. Coupled with the VOH housing opportunity, residents will be empowered to gain employment at one of the organization’s community-based businesses, such as bakery, coffee cafe, bookstore, and boutique. Bringing awareness to the community of all capabilities while empowering others to reach their fullest potential. In Hinche, Haiti, TDRP works with residents and public figures to create sustainable opportunities as a means to break the cycle of poverty. Presently, TDRP is working with 25 individuals in this rural mountainous community by providing education to children who cannot afford to attend, or who have surpassed the national age requirement; providing nutrition for school-aged children and their immediate families; supplying basic necessities to function a member of society; securing suitable housing; educating the community on disease prevention, domestic abuse, health and hygiene, and self-worth. Future projects in this community will include (1) building of a state-of-the-art K-12 school, featuring web-based learning, sports, arts, and vocational training; the organization currently has 40 children on a waiting list to receive education (2) building of a state-of-the-art medical clinic to be utilized by members of the community, focusing primarily on women’s health, prenatal care, and well child support (3) building of a restoration home for orphaned children with primary focus on children born with I/DD (4) building of a sustainable farm to feed the organization’s school-aged children as well as their families (5) employment of community members and teaching of trades to those interested in learning so as to sustain their families independently (6) building of a campus where international teams will be able to stay and support the organization’s Haitian counterparts (7) creating sports programs (8) collaborating with voice and musical instrument professionals in the creation of an international traveling choir and orchestra to highlight the talents contained within Haiti’s people, especially the children who are Haiti’s hope. (9) collaboration with business professionals in the USA to teach skills and employ the community of Hinche, particularly in the textile industry (10) build new homes for those most in need in the community.