Our History

The Samaritan Foundation was founded by Elio Madonia, a retired Toronto businessman, on vacation, with his wife, in the Dominican Republic. What he witnessed there moved within him compassion to make a difference in the lives of the poor and impoverished.

“I was strolling, “ he remembers, “along the streets of a small town called Sosua, near Puerto Plata, when I was struck by the extreme poverty of the houses in the area. Those weren’t even houses, they were little more than shelters, roughly built, with no water, no lighting, with earthen floors. It was squalid. I felt the Lord telling me: ‘What will you do for these people?’ It was a lightning bolt. I answered: ‘My Lord, I’ll give them a house’.”

Mr. Madonia visited the mayor of the town and with his help, acquired some property on which he began constructing a small village in the periphery of Sosua. This first village, Maranatha, provided homes for the families he had visited on that first day.

To-date, the Foundation is building its 12th village representing over 1500 homes, 12 churches, 8 schools, 6 medical clinics and several sport facilities.

You can read more about Elio’s personal journey in his book here.


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