A wise investment

Friday, 15 September 2017   ::   Dominican Republic

hopd21200Crewmembers invested in the future of a village’s young people during a visit to a community outside Santo Domingo. A local church, which coordinates activities for kids every Saturday, invited volunteers to clean and rearrange the community library and provide human trafficking awareness training for the youth.

The team members found the library in disarray, with dusty books scattered across the floor. They spent the morning cleaning shelves and books. When the young people arrived in the afternoon, they were surprised to find the library tidy and in order, with the books back on the shelves and arranged by reading level and subject. “They were so happy with how the library looks now,” said Ceci Huizinga (Ecuador). “The kids were looking through the books and could actually find the kids’ books!”

Word had spread quickly throughout the community that a Logos Hope team was leading the children’s activities, and about 60 kids came for the programme, 20 more than the church typically has each week.

Ceci learned that the kids often play in the streets around town without adult supervision because they do not have parents or grandparents who are watching out for their safety. The church’s Saturday children’s programmes give the youth in the community a safe place to congregate with adult mentors who model positive behaviours. “The country can change with these kids, so they are trying to train them,” said Ceci.

The team talked to the kids about the dangers of human trafficking and explained how the children can use their senses to be aware of dangerous situations. “It was a relevant topic because there are two girls that came who are already working in prostitution; one of them is pregnant,” said Ceci. “When I talked about girls being trafficked and working in prostitution, the kids looked at her. The kids are perceptive; they know what is going on around them.”

Ceci gave the children a piece of paper and a pencil and asked them to write down what they had learned from the presentation. She was happy to see that several kids restated the information clearly and understand how to protect themselves against traffickers.