Category: Dominican Republic

Stories That Inspire: FINANCIAL TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
edify Welcome once again to our “Stories that Inspire” series. To read earlier posts, click here. After several years of working with over 700 schools in the Dominican Republic, Edify continued to notice certain trends. Low-fee private Christian schools in the Dominican Republic are often run as functional charities instead of as small businesses. The school administration may be disorganized and accounting logs are often managed by hand, and even then, often lack key information. Edify noticed this common weakness in many schools and responded by developing a program where a certain number of highly motivated schools could apply for intensive coaching from Edify Staff. These “Core Program Schools” are selected on annual basis for coaching in best financial practices and Christian worldview and are eligible for a menu of trainings for their teachers and school leaders. We currently have 60 schools enrolled in the program and are in our second year of deeper relationships with these… Read more »
Stories that Inspire: We invite you to meet to Carmen De Luna, Proprietress-Director of “Sunflower” School
edify To continue with our series of “Stories that Inspire”, we would like to introduce you to Carmen de Luna Williams, proprietress-director of “Sunflower” (Los Girasoles) School in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.   The following is an interview with Carmen: Carmen De Luna Proprietress of Sunflowers School 1- Can you tell us a little about your life? Where were you born? What kind of family do you come from? I was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. For my first twelve years, I lived in a little village called Guayabo Dulce. My parents were Christian since before I was born and this was very good for me. My childhood was very special. We enjoyed living in a home surrounded by a beautiful landscape, and around my house we had a river and my home was always filled by the grace of God. Later,… Read more »
Stories That Inspire (Jazmin Feliciano Smith School Proprietor)
edify For this blog series, we’d like to highlight some of the wonderful school proprietors we get to learn from. This week we’d like to introduce you to Jazmin Feliciano. Jazmin Feliciano, director of Smith School, recollects that her childhood was very poor in a material sense. Her family, though of humble means, was one of strong values and a desire to move forward in life. Her mother raised her and two other siblings. The family moved a lot within the town of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. Jazmin remembers working throughout her education. She worked many jobs: at a local gas station, a factory and helping her mother sell food and ceramics on the weekends. She remembers she was a distracted student because of the weight of her family’s precarious economic situation. Nonetheless, her memories of her childhood school, called Mount Zion School, include teachers who taught her Christian… Read more »
Stories that Inspire (Teresita Felix)
edify For this blog series, we’d like to highlight some of the amazing school proprietors we get to learn from. This week we’d like to introduce you to Teresita Felix. Some of you might have already met her in an earlier Edify video. Teresita is one of 7 children on her father’s side but is her mother’s only child. Teresita was raised and educated in the town of La Romana. She moved to her current neighborhood 22 years ago and started her school 18 years ago. She started it as a humble after school program where she would help students with their homework. At that time, she had a small business and sold ice and other small items from her house. More and more neighbors brought their children to her to help them with specific assignments. Her pastor saw that she had 52 students and offered to build her an inexpensive structure in… Read more »
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 »