Twice per year, since
2003, Brian Leahy comes from USA and helps a basic school in Boca Chica, Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic.
We asked him:
"How did you
get the idea of helping a school in Dominican Republic?"
Before I visited the
Dominican Republic for the first time I had read quite a bit about the country.
I like to learn something about the people and culture of a place before I visit
that country. I have traveled and have visited 14 or 15 countries. One of the
things that struck me was that due to economic conditions the schools have a
severe shortage of educational material that is for the most part, taken for
granted where I come from. It seems that without too much effort on my part
I could bring down a spare bag with some supplies that could help the situation.
I also read some information regarding donating on the DR1
website and it inspired me.
It feels great to do
something so worthwhile when I am on vacation.
"Why did you
choose the school in Boca Chica?"
Boca Chica was the first
town that I visited the first time I came down. From the information I was able
to get, it seems most public schools in the Dominican Republic could use some
help so it seemed like a great place to start. I have friends who are retired
and living in Boca Chica so it is usually the first place I stop when I come
down. The Dream Project runs a
donation program on the north coast but there doesn't seem to be a similar program
on the south coast so I make my donations directly to the director at the school
with the assistance of my friend Roberto.
of supplies do you bring when you come down?"
I try to bring a mix
of things that could be useful to the school. The school in Boca Chica has all
age groups in it so there is a wide range of different supplies that they
can use. In my four trips down I have brought pens, pencils, erasers, paper,
rulers, chalk, notebooks, construction paper, markers, envelopes, calculators,
flash cards, books in Spanish, Spanish English dictionaries, computer paper,
tape, maps, and sports equipment. Everything is needed and most welcome.
you suggest to others who would like to do a similar thing?"
On the north coast donations
can be made to the Dream Project.
Information about them is available at http://www.dominicandream.org/ . They offer many ways to help. On the south coast you need to get an interpreter
that you trust and contact the school directly. Virtually any school in any
town could use some help. Make an appointment with the director at the school.
This is very helpful as the schools are very busy places and it is important
not to be too disruptive. You will be very glad you did it and they will appreciate
your help very much.