Category: Dominican Republic

And we keep growing!
edify We are so excited to welcome new team-members to the Edify programs in the Dominican Republic. This summer, we were joined by Pastor Jose Ramon Rodriguez and Miss Kimberly Bontrager. Jose Ramon joins us from a background of pastoring a local church, running a Christian school and teaching at the college level. He joins us with years of experience in holistic Christian development and community building. As Edify's Progam Director for the Dominican Republic, Jose Ramon will guide the team in planning and implementing strategic impact programs in schools, with a focus on better management and Christian leadership. Kimberly Bontrager joins us from Pennsylvania by way of Boston where she received her B.A. in Psychology from Boston University. She will collaborate on Edify's impact measurment and English learning initiatives as Program Associate. Check out her first post here! To meet the rest of our DR staff, see here and here.  Left to… Read more »
Who was there?
edify When we look back at the most important moments of our lives, we often recall the names of the people who were there. "Sammy was at my wedding" or "when I had my first daughter, Darcy was there by my side." As Dominican students graduate or get promoted to a higher grade this month, we can ask that question--"who is there for them?" For many, the answer is a lot of wonderful people. For some, they have only a grandmother or father or older sibling there to root for them. Behind the photos of the happy moments of our lives--a family gathered around a new baby or a recent graduate, there is always more to the story. At the same time, that back story is human, lovely, disturbing and raw--but the important moments bring us to the fundamentals of love and being there for one another.  Often, quarrels are forgotten or postponed. Let us pray this week for the students to be surrounded by… Read more »
From Dominican Republic, Psalm 52:8-9
edify “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love
 for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you
 in the presence of your faithful people.
 And I will hope in your name,  for your name is good” (Psalm 52:8-9) We pray for students as they take their final exams during the close of the school period, as well as for the students who will take the National Exams this year. We pray that the Lord raises a generation of young Christians who practice and promote values based on God's Word. We pray for Family Camp this summer which will take place between July 14 and August 3 in La Romana, Dominican Republic. We pray for a special time during which we enjoy God’s love and kindness through each of the activities that we will share with the groups and the schools. We pray over the visit from Edify-Peru and our MFI… Read more »
A Day Off
edify A Day Off. "I want my students to have a day off. A day off from a world of 'not enough'. A day off  from a world of limits, a world of '"you can't do that'. I want my students to have a day where there is enough, where they can, where they are the center of things for a while." Magda, proprietess and director of "My First Words" School chooses 3 female students annually to be queen for the day. She dresses them up in beautiful dresses, has them parade around the school, her church (next door) and their neighborhood. The whole school applauds them, celebrates them and then joins in a community lunch that Magda pulls together magically with leveraged resources and a lot of faith. An Afternoon Out. "I want my students to be able to spend a day outside of the city. I want them to be able to spend time recreating with their parents and teachers in… Read more »
Prayers from the Dominican Republic
edify   “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”. COLOSSIANS 3:23 Thank you Lord, for each one of our team members in the Dominican Republic and for everyone who serves you around the world. Thank you for the privilege of serving you and giving hope to others through Christ-centered education. Thank you for the opportunity to be witnesses of your glory in the lives of others. We pray for those you have placed in positions of authority and responsibility in the schools and also for those you have placed in positions of authority in our partner financial institutions (ASPIRE and Esperanza). We are grateful for the redeeming work that the Lord is doing in the schools and with the people that manage the schools, so that the work of the Lord is manifested in the educational system! We pray for the Edify program, trainings, workshops and other educational activities that involve proprietors, directors and… Read more »
The Wonderful Teacher
edify I'm in search not of the perfect teacher but of the wonderful teacher.And my search has been fruitful.I've met Magda, who doesn't sit with the other teachers in the shade during recess. Instead, she plays basketball with the students, giggling and patting heads and giving high fives to accompany her encouraging words for students.Magda, who spends her afternoons tutoring children during the school's open homewok help hours.Magda, who uses her weekends to lesson plan and find opportunities for her students to compete with other schools in reading and English. Magda, who is theatrical and inspired and dedicated. I know Yamel, who is a mother to her second graders and seeks ways to teach Charlie and Jose, even though… Read more »
Expanding the Edify Team in the Dominican Republic
edify This year, we have welcomed four new team members to the Edify staff in the Dominican Republic. They are working to deepen, expand and improve Edify’s relationships and impact in Christian schools. Our mission statement is coming alive—to improve and to expand SUSTAINABLE, AFFORDABLE, CHRIST-CENTERED education in the developing world! Leandro Peguero joined our team in July as the Christian Transformation & Training Officer. He oversees training efforts and implementation of training principles. It is one thing to offer training on the integration of Biblical principals in your school or effective financial management of a school, yet it is entirely different to walk alongside schools, helping them to implement what they have learned and effectively improve their schools. This is the work Leandro does. He is exceptionally interpersonal and models Christ in his relationships with school proprietors, teachers and our local partners. Prior to Edify, Leandro spent eight years working as a Program… Read more »
Environmental Stewarship
edify The Dominican Republic is a country of incredible natural beauty. It is home to countless endemic birds, amphibians and flowers, some only found on the island of Hispanola. Its fertile soil produces cacao, tobacco, sugar as 30% of the country is suitable for agriculture. Pollution and deforestation threaten the island's biodiversity and green space. Tourism and eco-tourism initiatives offer opportunity for environmental stewardship but also sometimes trample on natural resources. Multinational corporations offer much-needed employment, but sometimes at an environmental cost. Certainly, there are macro-economic forces at play here, as in any country. Students today will be the leaders of tomorrow who will make decision regarding stewardship, justice, preservation and growth.  It is imperative, therefore, that they are instructed in how to care for their environment, sow seeds, fertilize soil and teach others to do the same. We pray that they sow physical seeds and fertilize tangible soil, but that they do the same in the lives of those around them, too. The… Read more »
Educational Technology
edify Today, the buzz about mobile technology in the developing world is not limited to development and technology circles. As more and more US school districts aquire tablets for their classrooms, a wide audience is asking, "how could mobile technology help solve the global educational access and quality problems?"  How can mobile technology help where there is a dearth of teachers or where learning content is limited? Sugta Mitra's experiment with student-driven learning in India has gotten many excited about the "quantum leap" such technology could provide to self-motivated students in the developing world. Juarez Correa of Matamoros, Mexico similarly inspires with his innovative and successful pedagogy in a low-resource school. Edify is implementating  TeacherMate, an application that focuses on English phonics and is tailored to the speed and progress of each student. Our model is to equip and empower English teachers to use student-centered-learning approaches and to engage students in the process of learning. As humble students ourselves, there… Read more »
Gathering at Christmas
edify Maria Teresa is one of those special school proprietor who is excellent at what she does and articulates well the “why” of her vocation. Her school, Centro Educativo Mami Luisa, has done a Christmas pageant and dance exhibition since the school was founded in 1998. This year, she opened the ceremonies with the reminder: “We may paint the house this Christmas season. We might buy new clothes. We will definitely buy gifts. But is that the point? Isn’t the point that God sent his Son to bring grace into our lives? Let’s thank Him tonight.” She then referenced the banner behind her that read “King of our lives.” As a devout Catholic, she shared that having God be the driver and director of her actions is paramount in her life. Her school is a place that creates space for teachers, staff and students to grow. Her school also invites parents to take part. What is always striking to me about Christmas… Read more »