I will be completing an internship with Community Service Alliance (CSA), a nonprofit organization located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The mission of CSA is to channel human and financial resources to communities in the Dominican Republic to respond to key development challenges, while also facilitating international education experiences and service learning. CSA works alongside local communities to empower them with resources and educational opportunities. The founders of CSA have developed several programs to serve the needs of communities across the Dominican Republic, including child and maternal health education, medical outreach, nutrition workshops, vocational training, English instruction, and so forth.
In addition, I will have the opportunity to volunteer at a school in Batey Lecheria, a region in the country’s central highlands, northwest of Santo Domingo. The school was founded by Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ) in 1995. Batey Lecheria is a densely populated village, which was originally built around a sugar cane field. This area is affected by extreme poverty and the residents face many adversities. Therefore, it is the mission of the schools’ employees and volunteers to ensure that every child feels valued and is given the opportunity to learn in a safe, inclusive environment.
Under the guidance of SHCJ, I will work directly with the students by assisting in all activities. The employees and volunteers provide a structured school day for the children, with time for stories, reading, writing, and math. I will also assist the children in developing patience, concentration, and other critical life skills. I am particularly excited to provide specialized instruction to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).