Project Esperanza

Project Esperanza is a non-profit organization that began as and remains a Virginia Tech student organization. Project Esperanza serves to connect the Blacksburg, Virginia community and the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic community through service. Our programs are designed to work toward breaking the cycle of poverty present among the lower social classes in these two communities, as well toward breaking the cycle of apathy present among the upper classes.
May 3, 2012

Preparing for This Summer!

Things have been going well with the Change My Stars program. We are preparing for camp this summer by visiting private schools and handing out flyers as well as handing them out in front of the camp building. We don't hand out flyers at public schools because there is a fee to attend camp and the average public school student wouldn't likely be able to pay. This is why we have our camper sponsorship program as well. We have two of our desired 11 campers sponsored. We have had many people e-mail to inquire about volunteering as camp counselors , a few which have already sent in their trip fees. Our goal is to register 50 campers and have 10 counselors per week. Our volunteer response has been so well that w may open a second camp at our school in the community of Muñoz with a goal of having five more volunteers per week. 

 

Our two students attending private school on scholarship are both continuing to do well. WE are raising funds to award another scholarship that wuld send a bright young man to college. We are a little less of a quarter of the way to raising funds for his first year, which is needed before he cna register for classes in September. 

 

We are working on speaking to the correct government department (being sent from one department to another) about opening our English immersion pre-school in the fall and we already have parents hoping to register their children. We are accepting applications for three pre-school teachers if anyone is interested. Teachers should be native English speakers, have experience working with young children, be patient, and culturally sensitive, and hav at least a little teaching experience as well.

 

Thank you for your support! Please help us spread our blog in order to get all 11 campers sponsored and to have 10 volunteers sign up per week (6 weeks long) of camp.  

Links:

Apr 13, 2012

Waiting on the Leadership

We have 6 desktop computers in our possession in the US, donated by a global computer company called CSC. We had hoped to use perhaps 3 of them to start the Saman Internet Center, but we still have absent leadership that will cause us to have to use these computers for other purposes, then solicit more in the future when the leadership is prepared.

Again, Peralta, who leads the community development organization that this internet center will be a part of is chronically absent from the community working in a garden hours away in order to support his large family. He has plans to transition to a business at home but is still trying to save up in order to make the transition. He was set back by his mother passing away in August and the funeral costs there. We have not met in more than a month and I, therefore, have no update as to how things are coming along on that end. But in addition to his necessary presence, the community development organization as a whole needs to regroup before taking on such a project as the launching of the internet center. So the launching has been set back due to these reasons. We are setting the tentative launch date for sometime next fall.

Another issue is that we hope to have a computer savvy, Spanish speaking expat there to at least oversee the first few months of the Internet center, train locals in proper computer use, and work with a trained local in order to enhance their likely sub par computer repair skills in order to be able to handle things after this person leaves. We have solicited for a Peace Corps volunteer for this purpose. The next round of volunteers come in May, but we were told these are likely already designated to projects and we may have to wait until September unless someone does a project change. If we get a volunteer before the center will launch, we have plenty of work in other areas of our organization for him or her.

Thank you, always, for your interest and support!

Links:

Mar 6, 2012

Ready to Get Started with Step 1

Since the last update, we have continued meeting people working in the Port-au-Prince area and just building relationships. We now have a document that will officially outline our plan and serve as the tool for communicating the plan to other NGOs, missionaries, and members of the government. We will now begin circulating the document with the end goal of step 1 being a meeting of all parties who are at least interested in discussing the execution of the plan. This document is attached in this update. Again, this is not an effort that we can focus on extensively because the focus of our work is in the Dominican Republic but it is a work that needs to be done and will be pursued. The next update, therefore, should be much more interesting. Thank you for your support.

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