Education…FFP takes a flexible approach to meet people where their stated needs are-inspiring education.
At the Foundation for Peace, we partner on education programs that address personal, family, community and national aspects.
People need educational support in the materially impoverished areas where we work. It ranges from early childhood education through senior adult literacy. Over the past 2 decades the FFP has seen many examples of how an opportunity for education results in an individual advancing in autonomy.
In El Batey, DR, most members of the community do not finish elementary school because many drop out to work and support their families. This greatly limits their chances for future employment. They asked us to help them build a vocational school. They will have access to government accredited training programs in sewing, basic computer skills, cooking/baking, as well as adult literacy. Some classes began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to having all of these classes and others available soon.
Families that struggle often have few educational resources and request education on many of the common issues of the day: basic health care, child development, saving money, protection from COVID-19 and more. The FFP partners with communities to provide seminars with local experts supplemented by US volunteers. An open dialogue on these topics provides significant benefits and inspiration to people in the community.
In Batey San Joaquin, DR, many people suffer from hypertension, diabetes and other chronic conditions. There was little opportunity for understanding their conditions and life-style changes they could implement to help. Few knew the importance of regular daily treatment and many would take meds only when they felt symptoms. All of this led to poor health outcomes, even for those already receiving treatment. With our nursing teams and local doctors, we have presented seminars to answer questions and provide the desired information to improve overall health.
Community leaders request assistance for their prioritized programs and education access is commonly on their list. Working hand in hand, the FFP has helped build primary schools, vocational schools and community centers for after school homework and literacy programs.
The public school in Pantoja, DR was a one room wood and tin shack. They asked us to help them build a large two story school, which now serves more than 400 students. When the government officials came to inaugurate this public school, they gave it the name, “The Work of God School,” saying “Only by a work of God could Pantoja have a school like this.”
Working hand in hand on successful education programs for local communities requires integration with the national education system. One of the advantages is preparation for national examinations, allowing the comparison of these students to those in other educational systems. Repeatedly children in the schools built hand in hand with FFP teams and communities, the students have ranked in the top tier of the country.
In Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti, Pastor Andres’ church was operating a school under some shade trees. They asked us to help build them a school. The first year they were able to administer national exams, 95% of the students passed! The national average passing rate for this exam was 55%. Schools use the little push forward that this partnership gives them to do incredible things.
FFP has opportunities to inspire students through sponsorship in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Kenya.