Empowering the local church to serve children and youth
Describe the need affecting community
The Dominican Republic is a nation built upon a historical foundation that includes genocide, slavery, and exploitation. Throughout the last 500 years the children of this island have been the victims of violence and abuse. Poverty and corruption have crippled this Caribbean nation and those who suffer the consequences most are the children. Malnutrition, family violence, unemployment and low wages create a systemic social environment that destroys life. For example, adolescent girls and boys as young as 11 and 12 years old are sexually abused by men who buy their innocence for the cost of a piece of bread. The men are unemployed and the children are simply hungry for food. Parents in financial straits will sell their children for a night or a season of prostitution.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The project will provide an infusion of resources to enable new Christian Education resources to be written by writers from the IED Church and then printed locally and distributed to the entire IED Church body. Equally important the project will provide teacher training in theology, pedagogy, Bible study methods, addressing social realities of the Dominican Republic.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The children and youth of the Dominican Republic are coming to the IED Church with a hunger and thirst for God, for a spiritual and moral foundation that they are unable to find at home. The mission of the IED is to open her arms to receive these children and to be able to offer them the Good News of the love and justice of God.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
A good measure will be to double the number of active Bible School Extension groups from 32 to 64 and also double the number of children and youth participating from 775 to 1500. To have successfully completed at least 6 teacher training sessions preparing at least 100 teachers to use the new Christian Ed materials written and produced by the IED Church. To gather testimonies from the teachers of lives of children touched and changed. The IED Church takes over this program fully after an initial (2-3 years) period supported by funds from the Advance.