Greetings from Puerto Plata!
It’s been a while since this blog has been updated, so this is a brief summary of what Project Esperanza has been up this fall and summer:
A New Year in a New School Building!
Welcome back to school! We have started this year in our new and improved building in Padre Granero, thanks to all those who donated to make it possible.
We reached our $20K goal for the Indiegogo fundraiser last spring, thanks to many of you! However, that was just a chunk of what we need to raise to finish purchasing and rennovating the building. We worked hard all summer getting the floors and bathroom in shape, putting up classroom dividing walls, and much more! You can read about the progress here.
This year we have over 150 students in the new building in Padre Granero. In Munoz, there are right around 50 students. Classes are in full swing, and the kids are excited to be back!
We have 31 students sponsored so far this year. Sponsorship means a lot to our students and helps us to maintain our schools! If you would like to sponsor a student for $100/ year, please contact our sponsorship coordinator, Crystal at email@example.com.
Kati Hinman has taken over as our volunteer coordinator this year. A recent grad from UC Berkeley, she is excited for this opportunity to live in the Dominican Republic and work with “such a fabulous team of people”. She’s also looking forward to helping coach soccer and all the mangos! If you have any questions about volunteer opportunities or what’s happening on the ground, please do not hesitate to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fire in the Bateye
In June, a fire broke out in one of the three bateyes and burnt 62 houses to the ground. We were able to distribute many donations our wonderful supporters and volunteers gave to help out families in this time of extra need. The government has shared plans to rebuild but nothing has commenced yet. In conjunction with Sewing My Future run by Julie Baker, we received a donation from The Dewe Foundation to make school uniforms for the fire victims and are working on that currently. We continue to serve the community through the school, eco-construction projects, art shop, and are still fundraising to set up a cacao garden.
2015 Volunteer Challenge!
84 people have volunteered with Project Esperanza so far this year. When one volunteers with us, they meet those we serve and interact with them closely. But we hope that the relationship does not end there. Out of the 84 volunteers so far this year, 2 have sponsored students. 0 have come on board as monthly sponsors, although two already were. We rely on these contributions to do the work that we do. We would like to challenge each volunteer who leaves here to either become a sponsor or recruit a sponsor!Global Giving is matching re-occurring donations that are signed up for this week. Who is up for this challenge!?
Change my Stars Summer Camp
2015 was another successful summer for the Change my Stars English Immersion Camp! After 5 weeks of fun activities and games designed to improve their English skills, the 31 campers who participated in the research on average scored 44% higher on the post-test. You can see what they enjoyed in these graphics made by Ashley-Brooke Moses.
And last but certainly not least!
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SUMMER VOLUNTEERS!!
Ashley McKenzie, Kayla Jacobs, Ashley-Brooke Moses, Kiki Spiezio, Pace Academy Group, Reed Kennedy, Crystal Fox, Melissa Fancey, Berryville Baptist Rascals, Shanyce Campbell, Jessie Montana Cain, Faith, Hope, and Joy Foundation, and the Noel Family!
It means a lot to us to have volunteers donate their time and energy to our work. We appreciate all that you have done and we hope that you stay in touch and continue to support Project Esperanza!