Survival Skills in Dominican Republic

Most children learn basic survival skills — like shopping from groceries, renting an apartment and applying for a job — from their parents. When learning from their parents is not an option, many young adults, like those growing up in orphanages in the Dominican Republic, are at risk of getting trapped by dangerous lifestyles when they transition to independent life.

To better equip young adults before they age out of their orphanage, Just Hope is working with local teachers and professionals to empower students with the skills they need to provide for themselves a chance at lasting independence. They learn the skills necessary for safe, healthy adult living, and take English language classes, as speaking English greatly improves their chances of securing a good job that will provide for their needs.

Current Needs

As part of their lesson in spiritual growth, Survival Skills students in the Dominican Republic wrote on a sheet of paper what has hurt them in life and what they wish to heal and overcome. After, they went outside to burn the paper and participated in a prayer of healing. These students’ difficult pasts often include abuse, violence and trauma – healing and learning to cope are important preparation for their future. We ask God to help these students heal from their past, and pray that they can learn how to use the hard times to push forward in a positive direction.

In the Dominican Republic, we have news that church members are opening their homes to some of the Survival Skills students so they may have a transition period from the orphanage to the outside world. So far, there have been three girls that have benefitted from the generosity and kindness of these church members. We pray that the students continue to get support from the community and that they take advantage of this blessing with wisdom and maturity as they begin their transitions to living independently.

We are overjoyed to learn that Harry’s students in the Dominican Republic are coming out of their shells and starting to participate more during the English as a Second Language classes. They are beginning to overcome their fears of embarrassment and volunteering to engage in active lessons, such as showing their sentence structure skills on the whiteboard for the class. We thank God for giving these students the faith they need and pray for Harry as he continues to encourage them to go above and beyond.

We pray for unity amongst all leaders in orphanages. The enemy is against any work that helps an orphan – who are at the center of God’s heart. We need prayer for everyone to work together with one heart.

We ask God to protect our Survival Skills students in the Dominican Republic, and pray that they are able to learn responsibility and discipline in their journey toward independence.

We pray for the students in the Dominican Republic, that they understand the importance of learning the skills that will lead to a safe, healthy, independent life.

We ask for God’s direction as we pursue partnerships that can open more opportunities for the girls.

We praise God for the launch of the Survival Skills program in the Dominican Republic, and ask for His guidance and blessings on the teachers and students there.

Most Recent Updates

August
31
2017

Hero Spotlight: Maria overcomes her past and pursues her passion

Abandoned by her mother at 22 days old and later abused by her sister, Maria's resilience and strength are remarkable. She refuses to let her past define her as she works to make her dream of helping others a reality. Still a high school student, she attends Just Hope Survival Skills classes and is planning to study Business Administration in college. Her goal is to learn how to run a business to eventually start a foundation that helps children and adults see their worth despite their past experiences. See how Maria has learned to not merely survive, but to thrive.... 
July
6
2017

Survival Skills Students Concentrate on Spiritual Growth

  • Survival Skills Students, Dominican Republic
This week, as part of their lesson in spiritual growth, the students wrote on a sheet of paper what has hurt them in life and what they wish to heal and overcome. After, they went outside to burn the paper and participated in a prayer of healing. These students’ difficult pasts often include abuse, violence and trauma – healing and learning to cope are important preparation for their future. We ask God to help these students heal from their past, and pray that they can learn how to use the hard times to push forward in a positive direction.
July
6
2017

Survival Skills Students Learn to Recognize Nonverbal Communication

  • Survival Skills, Dominican Republic
  • Survival Skills, Dominican Republic
  • Survival Skills, Dominican Republic
Survival Skills students in the Dominican Republic are learning how to recognize nonverbal communication. Highlighting nuances in body language, Joanna led exercises in acting out emotions and identifying what those emotions were. Being able to identify various types of nonverbal communication is essential for the students, not only now, but as they transition into the world and face challenges in work, school and home life.
June
30
2017

Students Visit a Restaurant in the Dominican Republic

  • Survival Skills field trip, Dominican Republic
Survival Skills students from the Dominican Republic went on a field trip to a restaurant. They were able to put into practice using manners at the table, developing behavioral skills, utilizing public transportation, abiding by the rules of courtesy. The students learned how to calculate tax and tip and were able to communicate with the server in English.
April
13
2017

Just Hope Hero: Sofia, Abuse Survivor, Wants to Help Others

When Sofia was 13, she and her sister were taken to an orphanage by the national adoption authority in the Dominican Republic. The girls’ mother moved away when Sofia was 8 and they were left to live with their stepfather. For five years, the girls were abused, often locked in the house alone and were not attending school. Finally, a concerned neighbor reported the abusive stepfather and the girls were removed from the home. She is now 17, a young woman who has matured greatly since coming to the orphanage. After four years in a safe and stable environment, she has become responsible, friendly, studious and dedicated to making a future for herself. She enjoys reading, listening to music and playing soccer, and she has a high aptitude for math. Read Sofia's story...

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