Dominican Childrens’ Rights, Values and Discrimination Issues

by on Wednesday, 3 July 2013


ISV Volunteers assisting with construction at HELP © used with permission by ISV Dominican Republic

ISV is off to a successful start of this season’s Dominican Republic Health, Education and Language Program (HELP). Thanks to input from last year’s volunteers, our Project Leaders and the countless hours DR Office has dedicated to the HELP revision, this year’s summer camps have been fine-tuned to focus on a few specific areas of personal development and caring for the environment.

In an effort to nurture healthy mental, emotional and physical development of our summer campers and their communities, the 2013 HELP themes include values, children’s rights, violence and discrimination, as well as trash and its effect on health and the environment. The pioneering group of this season blazed the trail with Blue Moon by teaching the children of La Mina that caring for their natural and home environments, through recycling and appropriately disposing of waste, can prevent the spread of disease and improve general health.

The HELP classroom where teaching covers topics such as caring for natural and home environments

The group concluded their two weeks of volunteering by organizing house visits with the summer campers to assess health and safety risks in the home.

The second ISV volunteer group is under way with Rancho Campeche in the community of El Limón. The volunteers’ creativity and positive attitudes are already reflected in the faces of our summer campers. The group has dedicated several hours to planning entertaining and effective activities that encourage the children to explore values, develop a sense of self-worth and realize that even as children, they have rights. Building upon these lessons, the group will be teaching about the negative impacts of violence and discrimination through discussion, team sports and group projects.

Recycling art at HELP

On behalf of Rancho Campeche, the volunteers will also implement a Clean Patio Campaign during the second week of the project. This campaign entails volunteers and summer campers visiting pre-selected homes in El Limón to collect trash in the yards and demonstrate the importance of working together to maintain personal health and a healthy environment.

“This experience has impacted my life and who I am as a person in ways that I could not have imagined.” Myranda Rees, Oakland University.

“Participating in Blue Moon opened my eyes to an amazing culture and the impact that can be left by even a small group of people.” Laura Pelser, University of Manitoba

We look forward to continuing these fantastic efforts with Blue Moon and Rancho Campeche in the groups to come!

Courtney Middlebrook

ISV Project Leader, Dominican Republic

To learn more about ISV’s programs in the Dominican Republic please visit our website.

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