Today we hear from the Project Director at DR-161, which is where my littlest kiddo, Carolin, attends. She's still just a little peanut, but I am glad she is getting such a good start early in her life.
I love the pastor at this church was doing mission work in the United States! How wonderful! I guess this was originally supposed to be a Pastor Letter, but was written by another person.
My name is Teresa Hernandex Berroa and I am the director at the church in the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, that ministers to your sponsored child at the Child Development Center. I am writing on behalf of the pastor of this church who was unable to write because he is on a mission trip to the United States.
Photo show a slum similar to the community DR-161 is situated in
I am very grateful for the support of Carolin, which has helped to make a great difference in her life. Thanks to the benefit of sponsorship, we are able to meet our commitment to the holistic development of our children in educational, physical, social, emotional, and especially, the spiritual areas.
In this community there is a lack of predominance of juvenile delinquency, drugs and alcohol abuse, along with a lack of employment opportunities, leading to much urban poverty. One of the great challenges in this community is to create awareness among the parents of the importance of a healthy upbringing, and of their responsibility towards their children, as the majority of the parents neglect their children. Many who have no employment nevertheless spend money on alcoholic drinks. This, in turn, leads young people to drinking and then to delinquency to obtain money to buy more alcoholic drinks. Addiction perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
The center has the challenge of changing the mentality of both the parents and the young people in order to prevent the predominance of delinquency, and of finding a way to train the youngsters, and their parents, to obtain employment related to the training they have received. The center has had a significant effect on the community through the training of young people and parents. We offer courses on making bedspreads and quilts, handicrafts and other courses through institutions in our community. This helps the participants to stay off the streets and to become self-sustaining. We also help in this area through talks, conferences, and bible messages concerning family responsibilities, with God as the provider of all things, at the center of the family. We have seen young people commit themselves to the lordship of Christ, so that they may be prepared to make a difference in our community.
During the past fiscal year, I have been able to see how one of the youngsters at the Center, after working with the "My Plan for Tomorrow" (a part of the Compassion International curriculum), was transformed in such a way the he is now a baptized servant of the church and is setting an example for the other young people to follow, who are just starting with the center.
I also want to tell you how much the children appreciate the arrival of a letter from their sponsors. Letters deliver joy to our children and reminds them that someone loves them and prays for them. But I also want to mention how bad they feel when they never receive a letter from their sponsors. I encourage you to please maintain contact with Carolin.
Please pray for the families of this community and for the plans that we have to achieve development here, that the community may be changed and improved.
Teresa Hernandez Berroa