Student sponsorships keep school from closing

By July 30, 2012

Dominican Republic (MNN) — Schools in the Dominican Republic are suffering–even the Christian ones.

Due to a lack of funding over the last several years, a lot of schools have had to scale back or close their doors all together. The COCREF system, created by the Christian Reformed Church, is not exempt.

"In the beginning, COCREF had about 21 schools set up in the Dominican Republic. As funding has decreased, they've been forced to close some of their schools," says Sara Webster with Worldwide Christian Schools.

As a result of this funding discrepancy, WWCS decided to come alongside COCREF in 2009. WWCS is concerned with school sustainability, primarily so that kids going to school can also have that sustainability. The ministry wanted to help ensure that COCREF schools didn't have to close anymore.

"Hope Rising was started in an effort to help support the schools so that the children in the Dominican Republic can still have access to quality education and learn about Christ while they're studying," explains Webster.

Hope Rising is the WWCS sponsorship program for kids in the Dominican Republic. The sponsorship fees go toward tuition, uniforms, and supply fees for students, all of which not only help the kids, but help the schools stay open.

Hope Rising was founded in 2010. In the last two years, two classes have graduated, 91 students have gained sponsorships, another ministry has offered to provide lunch for the kids, and, unlike most anywhere else in the region, enrollment has actually increased. It's excellent progress, but none of it is as significant as the reason WWCS is helping.

"If a teacher can introduce a student to Christ, and if a teacher is teaching with a Christian worldview, every day the child attends school is another interaction with Jesus," notes Webster. "Children are growing. They're being nourished in their minds, and in their bodies, and in their hearts with the love of Christ."

You can be an integral part of this exciting work in the Dominican Republic. Sponsors get to interact with their sponsored kids while helping them stay in school and learn about Christ. To learn more about becoming a Hope Rising sponsor, click here.

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