Impact Dominican Republic works in partnership with Lighthouse Projects in the Los Alcarrizos community in the Dominican Republic. Los Alcarrizos has a growing population of more than 320,000 people, most of whom live in poor conditions with little infrastructure. Thousands of children receive no education because of extremely limited space in the public schools. To address this, iTeams Canada partnered with Juventud para Cristo (YFC) in the development and expansion of the Lighthouse School, constructing a primary and secondary school, as well as a vocational training centre.
Today the school has over 1100 students in pre-school to grade 12 receiving an education. The vocational training centre currently teaches valuable skills to nearly 300 students in English, business management, computers, and other technical fields. To date, more than 3000 people have benefited from this initiative.
Villa Altagracia is a newer community which has no access to clean water and there are a lack of educational opportunities available for its residents. Impact Dominican Republic has begun to work in this community, using the lessons it learned in Los Alcarrizos to bring transformation to Villa Altagracia as well.
Cristian Santiago, the Program Leader for Impact Dominican Republic, has seen God at work in Los Alcarrizos firsthand, and is beginning to see the same in Villa Altagracia. The people in these communities have been His hands and feet here and their willingness to use what they have been given to help others has been a real encouragement to him. In some cases this has to do with encouraging others in their community to seek out Impact Dominican Republic for help, or to partner with Impact Dominican Republic and help out as needed (eg. sharing the labour on a construction project). The philosophy of Impact Dominican Republic is to work with the people and not for the people, and this attitude has been seen throughout Los Alcarrizos and Villa Altagracia.
Detailed Implementation Plan
Lighthouse Schools in Los Alcarrizos
Lighthouse School currently educates 307 children at the primary and secondary school and there are approximately 300 more students that are attending the vocational school. The vocational school continues to provide valuable training in English, business management, accounting, computer science, mechanics and other subjects.
Feeding Program in Los Alcarrizos
The feeding program at the Lighthouse School continues to be a success and there is the desire to expand the program even more. Between January and June of 2017 there have been 28 children who have been receiving a balanced breakfast five days per week. These children receive a breakfast before school containing a protein, a fruit or vegetable, a carbohydrate, and a multivitamin. In many instances this food is the most reliable source of nutrition for these children and it gives them the health and energy to succeed in school.
Impact Dominican Republic has been planning and meeting with Villa Altagracia community members for several years with the hope of creating transformational development projects there. Now we have broken ground on some of the first projects: a water purification system and rehabilitated sports fields. These two projects offer much to Villa Altagracia. The water treatment plant is based on the same model that has been so successful in Los Alcarrizos. After it is constructed, families will be able to buy affordable and clean water and all the profits from the plant will be spent on charitable activities within the community. The rehabilitation of sports fields provides Villa Altagracia with spaces to meet each other in sport. Through organizing sports games and events for both adults and children on these fields the community of Villa Altagracia will learn to love their neighbours and interact more with others. From January to June of 2017 Impact Teams and local construction workers have been busy on both the construction of the water treatment plant and the sports fields. The water treatment plant has been laid out and prepared and now 60% of the wall is complete. The basketball court being built in Villa Altagracia is approximately 10% complete.
Stories of Transformation
Celebrating 25 years in Los Alcarrizos
Program Leader Cristian Santiago shared about 25 years of transformational development work in Los Alcarrizos and moving into Villa Altagracia. The following is his testimony about what God has been able to achieve in these communities:
“Words are inadequate to express the total sum of emotions we have experienced during the past 6 months as we celebrate 25 years since the beginning of our work in Los Alcarrizos. God has been so good to us by giving us the privilege of working with these wonderful people and then blessing us with so many of you that have prayed with us, worked with us and invested in this great ministry.
More than 5,600 children and young adults have attended the school over the past 25 years. We know that the education they received at the Lighthouse School and Vocational School have made them into a generation of people who have had the opportunity to reach their potential. They now live more productive lives with the skilled trades, math, science, history and other subjects they have learned. Many of the graduates have gone on to higher education and have become leaders and skilled labourers in their communities. Most importantly these many children have taught a love for the Lord and for their neighbours.
A lot of construction work has been done over the years through dedicated teams who have shown compassion and love. These teams have been the body of Christ here and have helped many people in need.
We now look forward to the next 25 years of serving God and others in Villa Altagracia as well… The plan is to reproduce the same transformational projects that have been successfully implemented in Los Alcarrizos into the community of Villa Altagracia. We hope to continue and deepen the valued partnership we have with each of you, so with God’s help we can demonstrate and witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a tangible way in both communities.”
From January to June three Impact Teams visited the Dominican Republic to help with the construction projects in Villa Altagracia.
Over the next six months there will likely be another three Impact Teams leaving for the Dominican Republic to work with these communities.
|Total Income January-June 2017||$63,728|
|Total Expenses January-June 2017||$48,317|
|Overall 2017 Budget||$220,496|