This year Edify started working with a curriculum called AMO which is published by Chrysalis International. I was able to travel to the Dominican Republic with Edify this month where I spent three days attending an AMO teacher training in the capital city of Santo Domingo.
AMO is a unique, holistic, Christian program which is currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French and has been successfully piloted in six countries. Dr. Elizabeth Youmans, an education expert, developed AMO in 2002 with the desire to transform the thinking of both children and teachers. AMO encourages education to be more than a transfer of information, but also a transformation of the heart. It is biblically-based and stresses the importance of teachers holding a Christian view of the child.
If a school owner decides to implement the AMO curriculum, teachers attend this week long training before teaching the material. The training not only introduces the curriculum but also acts as a place of spiritual rejuvenation for teachers. AMO acknowledges that a key ingredient in Christian education is having Christian teachers and seeks to support them in their faith.
There have been eleven trainings so far in the Dominican and we hope to see that number grow as Edify continues to expand and fund schools there. Cristina Inchaustegui, a Dominican woman working for AMO, has been translating the trainings for years. She now heads the AMO program in the Dominican which is a huge step forward for both AMO and Edify. It was clear to me from hearing her present in Santo Domingo that she is passionate about AMO and about improving Christian education in her nation. I was impressed with the amount of participation from teachers and the enthusiasm they showed for the curriculum. I will be moving to the Dominican this October with my husband Travis to work with Edify and look forward to working alongside Cristina as well as our other partners on the ground there.
As I prepare to make this move to the Dominican, leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of home, I know I will need to find my strength in Christ now more than ever. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with Edify, knowing that the services we provide have the potential to bring others closer to Christ as well. I saw first hand at the AMO training that the people behind the curriculum have a genuine desire to inspire spiritual transformation in teachers, students and parents. I look forward to seeing loans made and school growth occur, but more importantly I am excited to see how God uses Edify and our partners to bring about his purpose in the lives of the Dominicans we are serving.