Mission Network News asking for donations, Sugar Barons laughing all the way to the bank
Dominican Republic (MNN) ― Batey communities in the Dominican Republic are company towns or neighborhoods where sugar cane workers and their families live.

Sugar production is physically demanding and low-paying work. An estimated 250,000 residents live in approximately 500 bateys throughout the Dominican Republic.

Most residents do not have access to drinking water, proper sanitation facilities, medical care, or schools.  A majority of the adults are illiterate. Many have dreams for their children that will never be fulfilled without an education, but 22% of the kids in the Dominican Republic don't go to school because their parents' wages won't cover the fees.

Worldwide Christian Schools, in partnership with the Christian Reformed World Missions and COCREF (Christian Reformed Schools of the Dominican Republic), began responding with small schools in the shantytowns.   

In 1988, Jerico Christian School began classes in the tiny Christian Reformed Church in Batey Fao. 15 years later, Worldwide Christian Schools built a four-classroom building not far from the church. In 2004, bathrooms were added and a security wall was finished. Currently, Jerico serves students from preschool through 5th grade and is growing.

Steve Geurink with WWCS says, "There is just a large number of students who are not able to attend either public or Christian schools. Our program is focusing on these individual students and trying to get all the children from a family to be able to go to school at the same time."

"Hope Rising" is a joint program of Worldwide Christian Schools - US, Christian Reformed World Missions, and COCREF that connects one sponsor with one student in the Dominican Republic. 

But there's a twist to the program. Geurink explains, "If we pick one child in a family to sponsor, we make a commitment to make sure that all the other children are sponsored as well." 

In other words, "Our goal is to make sure that a school is completely sponsored--or close to that--before we move on to the next one, rather than have, for example, three or four [sponsored students] at one school and maybe five or six sponsored [students] at another. We want to impact one community at a time."

Hope Rising focuses on providing access to Christ-centered education, which means that "we'll produce a future for children that are literate, and have a better understanding of their world, plus being exposed to Christ,"says Geurink.

Most importantly, the discipleship is done through the indigenous believers connected with the program. "The teachers themselves are the disciplers. When they're doing the teaching, they're the ones that are concerned about the individual children. They are concerned about the development of these children and the Christian faith within the curriculum setting."

The price tag for a future? Not much more than a cup of coffee at a fast food restaurant. "It's about a dollar a day to put a kid in school. The children are given an education, many times a lunch, and their materials they need for school." Click here if you can help


Dominican Watchdog note:

First the Americans are forced to pay double for their sugar from the Fanjul Brothers. Then soon after they are asked to donate money for clean water, food and education of the poor cane workers kids in the Dominican Republic, while at the same time the Sugar Barons like Vicini and Fanjul are making billions of dollars on their sugar business. Is the average consumer really that stupid? It's about time they say STOP!..... The Sugar Barons are laughing all the way to the bank everyday!


The truth behind the Fanjul billions, sugar business and problems it has created in USA and DR

The horrible movie about Vicini Group´s sugar workers narrated by award winning actor Paul Newman

Read why Head of Vicini Group, Felipe Vicini dont like the movie "The Price of Sugar" and tried to stop it!

See the scary US government and NGO´s reports about the child workers in Dominican sugar fields





Go back | Date: 15 Dec 2010
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