Out in Tech Site Spotlight: The Gets My Goat Project in the Dominican Republic

Out in Tech connects LGBTQ+ activists with leaders in the tech industry at hackathons throughout the year, like upcoming events in Austin and Chicago this weekend. Participants come out of the experience with new websites for their organizations. Want to learn more? In this Q&A, we check in with Gets My Goat, a project of an NGO in the Dominican Republic that has benefited from their WordPress.com website.

Can you tell us about the mission and goals of GetsMyGoat.org?

This interview with John Waters, a volunteer at ProActividad and spokesperson for the Gets My Goat project, is edited for length and clarity.

The Gets My Goat project is an initiative of ProActividad. Established in 2009, ProActividad has a strong track record in the areas of human rights, socioeconomic development, and sexual and reproductive health of marginalized youth. It’s important that young people enjoy the rights and opportunities necessary to develop to their full potential, and can make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. These issues are critical for promoting development, fighting poverty and, ultimately, for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the Dominican Republic. With an average annual budget of about US$200,000, for the last three years ProActivdad funders have included the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Equitas, the Tides Foundation, Astraea, and the Rustin Fund for Global Equality.

By training them in dairy goat management and supporting them in establishing their own small-scale farming initiative, they become leaders and agents of change within their own community.

Marginalized youth often feel frustrated and misunderstood. They face many challenges like poverty and a lack of work opportunities. Gets My Goat seeks to support, encourage, and engage young people so that the resentment and inadequacy they may experience does not come to define who they are. It brings marginalized youth together, building solidarity between different groups. It offers opportunities for them to participate in defining solutions to the problems they are often identified as causing. It’s also about building vocational skills. By training them in dairy goat management and supporting them in establishing their own small-scale farming initiative, they become leaders and agents of change in their own community.

Photo courtesy of John Waters

How has your website connected you to people interested in the farm and the project?

The site has given visibility to the work we do. It has provided an opportunity for us to tell our story and share with others what we are doing and why. People have come out to visit the farm and learn firsthand about our work. The farm is only a half-hour drive from the city, so it’s accessible both to residents and tourists. Once people visit the farm, they’re more likely to support us, either by buying some of our produce or volunteering here. They can also decide to adopt one of our kid goats for a small monthly fee, which gives them the right to name the goat; they also get photos and updates on how their adopted goat is growing and developing.

The site has given visibility to the work we do.

Photo courtesy of John Waters

What parts of your site are essential?

Like the Get Involved page? Similarly collect donations with our Simple Payments feature, available on the WordPress.com Premium and higher plans.

The About and Support Us sections are the most important. Most of the people who contact us via the site do so to ask more questions about what we do or to volunteer at the farm. The online inquiries we receive are critical for engaging with individuals, and we frequently invite them to come and see what we do at the farm. Most people who visit end up supporting us in some way, however small or large that may be.

What advice would you give to an organization that would like to build a website but isn’t sure how to start?

Making visible the work of an NGO is critical. WordPress offers templates and tools that make designing a website easier and less intimidating. I really encourage NGOs to launch their own websites to talk about the important work they do so that they can better engage with potential donors and volunteers. The effort is well worth it!

Learn more about Out in Tech and explore other LGBTQ+ organizations that have participated in past events.