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.
Aug 29, 2014

Pre-School

last day of camp
last day of camp

This summer was a great time for our students! We bussed them over to our other school each morning, provided them with breakfast, and had English immersion camp. This is the first year that we were able to include students from Munoz and it was a huge success! After week 5 of camp, we even chose the best behaved campers with the most consistent attendance and went on a trip to the national zoo in Santo Domingo! Here is a link to some videos from each week of camp: 

After camp, we had a great week of teacher training. Topics included strength based teaching, team building exercises, discussion on the Spanish/Creole/French language issues, discovery based teaching, and more! 

School began Aug. 16th. As predicted, we have only pre-school students so far. Over the years, most of our students have integrated into the public school system, which is great! This year the school has switched from half a day to full day, so we have lost students to the school. We still believe in the bilingual curriculum we use and in instilling volunteerism and social responsibility into our students, building them up to be change-makers on the island, but since we are not yet an accredited school, if they have the opportunity to go to public school, that is where they should be. However, hopefully we will be accredited by the time our pre-schoolers advance to 1st grade, and that is in the works. 

We have several students who still need sponsors. Please consider donating $100 and we will send you a profile and updates. 

We also have a new project in the works. This summer, we began growing cacao seedlings. Our hope is to, with the participation of sponsors and donors, purchase 3 sq. m of land per tree, and be able to give at least one tree to each student. In 5 or 6 years, these trees will produce around 200 pods a year, each full of seeds that will be turned into chocolate. 100 lbs. of seeds can be purchased in town, to be exported for around $150 US (6,000 RD). So more on that to come! 

Thank you, always, for your support!

teacher training
teacher training
cacao seedlings
cacao seedlings

Links:

Jul 28, 2014

School Year Terms

We hope you are well! We were recently able to send some funds to Hellen to help out with this term, thanks to your genorosity! We were also able to get a camera to her but there was a problem with the charger. We expect this problem to be fixed soon and more pictures! 

A new term started on May 26th and is about to end. You may be interested in learning about the way the Ugandan school year system runs, as it is quite different than the U.S. system, and many other countries. 

Term 1 runs from February to April. Then there is a month long break. 

Term 2 runs from May to July. August is a break month. 

Term 3 runs from September to November. Most of December and January are holidays. 

And here is a video of one of the classrooms they are working on constructing for the schools. 

Thank you always for your support! Your investment is valuable to the lives of many. 

Links:

Jul 15, 2014

Great Summer Camp Coming Soon!

Our four scholarship students are finishing up this school year strong. Miguelina Joseph passed the Pruebas Nacionales, which are a national exam after 8th grade, and will be moving on to high school in August! 

This summer will be the best summer camp so far! It is our fourth year running the camp, and we have more resources than ever, and done more planning ahead. Thanks to Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, we are providing breakfast every morning for campers. We have some movie nights planned throughout the summer, and a parents' day with presentations on the last day of camp. We are also planning a trip to the zoo after the 5th week of camp where students learn about animals! We have several campers bussed in from various communities and still need support for that so if you can chip in at this time, that is what the funds will go toward. To sponsor a camper to go to the zoo, donations of $15 are sought. Sponsors will receive a picture of their camper at the zoo, along with a thank you note!

Here is a video of week 1 of camp. 

Thank you always for your support!

Links:

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