Dominican Republic Update - May 2018

Dominican Republic Update - May 2018

Overview of Progress

With an image of being a paradise of secluded beaches, turquoise waters, and relaxing resorts, the Dominican Republic is one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean. The economy is growing, driven by construction, manufacturing and tourism, but travel just a few kilometres beyond the resorts and a jarring reality quickly becomes apparent. Over 40% of the population lives in poverty. Although primary education is officially free and mandatory, rural areas have limited access to education. Several studies estimate less than 20% of all Dominican youth graduate from high school, and very few kids finish Grade 8. 

Education is a critical tool to escaping a life of poverty. Your support is providing quality education, mentoring programs, and programs to give these kids the tools they need to become all that God intends them to be. Construction is currently under way to convert each care centre into a fully accredited private Christian school. Recently, a new school in another project in Santo Domingo was built and the school community joined to celebrate and give thanks to God for the completion.

Your Impact Has Been Measured!

During the summer of 2017, our Dominican Republic partner, Kids Alive Dominican Republic, embarked on a project measuring the impact of their educations programs. Seventy-four former youth who graduated from Grade 8 during 2004-2006 were surveyed. The goal of the survey was to compare sponsored kids with their siblings who were not sponsored and didn’t attend one of the programs. What was revealed was a clear indication that child sponsorship has a significant impact on the academic achievement, family formation and spiritual maturity of kids in the DR. 

Results showed that sponsored kids were almost twice as likely to graduate from high school as their non-sponsored siblings. They’re also four to five times as likely to make a profession of faith and choose to be baptized in a country where only 10% of all residents are evangelical Christians. It’s obvious that education is helping to break the cycle of poverty and kids are growing up to realize their full potential. But there is still work to be done to ensure that more kids can receive the benefits of these programs.  Thank you for supporting Hope Story and our partner in the Dominican Republic. Your ongoing partnership is continuing to make an impact in the lives of at-risk kids. 

Give Thanks

  • A record number of high school graduates.
  • University scholarship program grew to 61 students.
  • The newest school in Santo Domingo was finished.
  • ANIJA graduated a record 27 Grade 8 students. 
  • Palo Blanco received permission from the local school district to expand the school through to Grade 8 instead of ending at Grade 7 and bussing the students to another public school.
  • Park Care Centre received permission to become a school and reported 100 children enrolled through Grade 6. They also counted 140 youth enrolled in high school from the village where they work. 10 years ago, less than 10 youth from the village attended high school.

Prayer Requests

  • Strengthening of the high school youth discipleship programs.
  • Additional resources for school supplies and textbooks.
  • For a smooth transition for Park Care Centre as they move to being a full day school.


Goals 

  • Adding 10-20 more students to the scholarship program.
  • Converting the last two care centres to private Christian schools.


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