The kids had a long break from both school and tutoring over the holidays, but they have returned now and were excited to go back.
Ruth, who has joined our Education Fund team, made her first Home Visit early this month to meet the family and talk to them about volunteer opportunities. She found Yoandi to be funny to talk to, and said Andy was quiet but seems like a good boy. Yoandi talked about his love for painting and animals, and Ruth said he comes across as very intelligent. He was petting the cat throughout the whole visit.
Andrielis again confirmed to Ruth her desire to be a nurse. Juan, her stepfather, had an infection on his finger and Andrielis enjoyed having the role of caring for him, cleaning the infection, etc. Sonia discussed how she wants to go back to school and finish secondary school. There are many adult night classes available in their community, so this should be possible for her. She wants to find steady work first, so she can afford the fees (books, tuition- all which are minimal) and can feel more secure leaving at night to study.
The main purpose of the visit was to discuss volunteering. This is going to be Ruth's first role as their Support Worker, to set up a volunteer program. I want the kids to appreciate the opportunity they are being given- their education- and to learn at a young age that they must be giving back to the community all that they learn. Volunteering will be their way of 'working' for this program, so that it is not so much of a handout. Ruth and Andrielis really connected over Ruth's past experience volunteering with Red Cross. Ruth is looking into an opportunity for Andrielis that would involve being in the hospital. The boys also showed desire to volunteer, but they were having a hard time figuring out in which capacity. We want to choose something that they are interested in and that fits with their personality and interests, so the family has some brainstorming to do. Hopefully by next month the kids will have found placements.
In other news, we have made the decision to continue with tutoring. This was something that Sonia and the kids really wanted, but didn’t have the means to pay for on their own. While it will be tough for me to continue paying this, in addition to their tuition, I think it is really important for the kids in order to ensure that they are at the top of their class and don’t fall behind again. There is no point in sending them to a good school if they are not at the level where they can really benefit from it.
On February 12, Andrielis’ class will be visiting the capital city, Santo Domingo. They will be touring the city and much of what they learn will be on their exam. Andrielis needs 2000 pesos (roughly $50) for this field trip if anyone is interested in contributing. It is quite a long drive and the cost will cover gas, meals, etc.
Andrielis has not yet received her grades back from after her exams, although I should have those soon. I am still $80 away from reaching my December half-way mark. Stay tuned for an update next month on how the kids’ volunteer placements are going!