Can anyone help me help this kid? Sorry L O N G post!

J D Sauser

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Soon after I arrived to this Country my kids came for a 10 day visit. As kids are, they quickly made friends with kids living in the apartment building where I first lived near Sosua. After they left, these kids, especially two little girls of 7 years of age by now and their family remained friendly with me. Over the last year this friendship has grown to almost a family style relationship. We go to see their grandpa in San Juan (South), go to the river and beach together, make sancocho etc.
Yes, they are humildes but, probably because I came into their life thru the children they have treated me equal and never really asked me for anything.
One of the girls, has a "godfather" in the US who is doing the great thing of paying for school at the Sosua Int'l School in La Mulata. As many of you may know, this in not only said to be a good school but also quite expensive at over USD 500.oo a month.

The other one, well, she does not directly belong to the family. It's one of those typical stories of a kid who was taken over by one family because the mother has 3 others all from different fathers of which only 2 have taken their responsibilities serious and care for their offspring. She, of course was not one of the lucky ones.
As she is not "bringing in any money" she is welcome to food and sharing a bed with the other one... but obviously, that's about it.
There is also no school for her... after all, she is only a girl (don't need school) and sentenced to be poor (know where you belong!).
I can't argue with the family, I can't change the world or only this country but I am trying to get her in a decent school.

So, I went and looked at the public school in her neighborhood... and went out 10 seconds later shaking my head... forgitaboutit... the last birthday party we had was quiter and more civilized.
I checked out the two most recommended private schools on the South side of Sosua and only then learned how generous the first girl's "godfather" is. I can't do that.

But last Sunday, a lady inadvertently backed her car into my truck, creating a minor damage on my vehicle. She was very sorry and went to great lengths trying to resolve the issue fairly. So, we talked and she mentioned a private school in the bar and nite club sector of El Batey (as you may realized, I try not to use names, yet). Her kid goes there and she pays 2000 Pesos a month. Now, I CAN do that! If I can safe a kid that has given me it's unconditional child love.. for 60 Dollars a month, I'll gladly do it.
I went down there three days ago and talked to a secretary in their offices and told her the whole story, just as you read it here.
Her first concern obviously was, that the girl was at an age where she should go into 2nd grade but never had attended school. I immediately answered that I agreed that she needed to go into 1st grade. Then, she indicated that their 1st grade students are already "aphabetisados", which is yet not her case. I answered that if they would take her for 1st grade this year, I would see to it that she would be put up to speed by the end of August... either a tutor or even I would take it upon me to get her ready.
So, I was told that she would comment to the director and call me next day.

Well, she did call, yesterday, and told me that the response was negative. I asked why and she explained that first because she was not prepared to enter 1st grade, to which I replied that I had stated that I would get her prepared.
But now comes the what really ticked me off big time:
She went on to say that they wouldn't consider her because "es una nina de estas"! I asked what she meant, after all, the girl is 7 so what kind of girl can she be? Well, that she is one of these girls who has no family!
Now keep in mind, this coming from a Dominican secretary and what by the name would seem to be a Dominican director of a school which has been build by the people of which most where orphans or their families otherwise ripped apart by the Nazis!

I asked to have a meeting and was promised I would get a call back to schedule a meeting. Yet, not to my surprise, I have not received any calls.

I am not prepared to let this argumentation count. I think it is offensive towards the Dominican society and the memory of the people who founded a school like this one.

And still, I am looking for a real solution to have this girl put thru school so that she will get a real chance in life and history won't repeat itself.

So, if you all have not already fallen asleep over this overly long post, I am looking for help helping this girl.

... J-D.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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I can applaud your efforts...please do not let their stupidity dull your sense of what is right.

HB
 

wylechile_2000

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why dont you try teaching her yourself for the time being? you know the basics. thats what my mother did for me before i started school and thats what i did for my son and continue to do every summer before school starts.
then after you have taught her the basics then try to find a school.
 

Ringo

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Mar 6, 2003
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JD.
What you are trying to do is great!

Are you willing to be the "hands on" person to sponser this child? That is to be directly involved rather then handing money to others that in most cases does not end up helping the child.

There is a grade school up the road across from the old club house entrance to Porto Chiqueta. I'm told that you would not know that it is a school, I'm sure it is poor. One of the teachers is staying with one of my renters and I can talk with her this PM.

If you could use some $ to help sponser her, I would gladly trust you.

Respectfully, Ringo
 

J D Sauser

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why dont you try teaching her yourself for the time being? you know the basics. thats what my mother did for me before i started school and thats what i did for my son and continue to do every summer before school starts.
then after you have taught her the basics then try to find a school.
She lives in La Union, I live in down town Puerto Plata. There are obvious logistics involved in commuting a kid back and forth. I can't have her living here, I live alone and it's not proper here... I don't want to be considered the next Michael Jackson.
Besides... I am 42.. I work.
Yes, while I have never done it before, I feel confident I could teach her to read an write... in Spanish that's easy (when compared to English) as it;s almost phonetic. But I don't want her to just get the basics... I want to break her out of the vicious circle of ignorance.
Yet, if it's necessary I am prepared to bring her up to speed during the summer vacations.

... J-D.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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I would talk to the director of the school and explain to him that you will be taking care of the expenses and making sure that the girl shows up every day on time, dressed properly and clean and and that she will do her homework. You need to be persistent. If for any reason you think you're Spanish isn't adequate for them to understand you, have someone call on your behalf.
 

J D Sauser

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Nov 20, 2004
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JD.
What you are trying to do is great!

Are you willing to be the "hands on" person to sponser this child? That is to be directly involved rather then handing money to others that in most cases does not end up helping the child.

There is a grade school up the road across from the old club house entrance to Porto Chiqueta. I'm told that you would not know that it is a school, I'm sure it is poor. One of the teachers is staying with one of my renters and I can talk with her this PM.

If you could use some $ to help sponser her, I would gladly trust you.

Respectfully, Ringo
Thanks for the generous offer, Ringo. I know I can do the 2000Pesos a month... I can do the books a year and her T-shirt and shoes... and even her pants! But I want it done right... something I / We can look back upon some day and be proud.

... J-D.
 

Skippy1

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Feb 21, 2008
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Ok I would suggest that you stick to your guns and give it all you've got.
You seem to be her only hope of an education and a start in life.
Its only an idea but maybe you can find members here who would be willing to teach her privately for the same money you would pay the school.
There must be quite a few ex pats who could teach a 7 year old enough to get her upto speed. does not have to be the same person for all subjects ie maths english spanish history etc .....many could give one day, afternoon or evening to help I would have thought. It could be the beginning of a new school founded and run entirely by ex pats?

I hope you get a good response for what is a very good cause.
I wish there were more people with the same attitude as you.

Skippy1
 

J D Sauser

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Ok I would suggest that you stick to your guns and give it all you've got.
You seem to be her only hope of an education and a start in life.
Its only an idea but maybe you can find members here who would be willing to teach her privately for the same money you would pay the school.
There must be quite a few ex pats who could teach a 7 year old enough to get her upto speed. does not have to be the same person for all subjects ie maths english spanish history etc .....many could give one day, afternoon or evening to help I would have thought. It could be the beginning of a new school founded and run entirely by ex pats?

I hope you get a good response for what is a very good cause.
I wish there were more people with the same attitude as you.

Skippy1

The post are coming in faster than I can respond them.
I think it's an idea, but then it would eventually lead to a new school... maybe we could do this.
But right now, I think this is kind of an emergency as there is no more time to be wasted with her... by the end of this year she will turn 8.

Because of the inconsistent way her "family" navigates thru life, I think there needs to be a regular schedule they will have to abide by... dressing her up and sending her in the concho guagua to school, every day, same time... or it will fail on those good souls who will try to help will give up, not on her but on "them".

I still have not given up on "that" private school in El Batey (those who do not know which one I mean PM me). And I hope we have some here who could and would try to talk to some sense into them.
Somebody who visited me today and with whom I consulted about posting this here, thought that maybe we could e-mail them and remind them a little bit about history too(?).

... J-D.
 

guandulera

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Apr 22, 2008
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Education is for all

It angered me to read the story just to know that there are people who call themselves educators and then denie education to a child....I have been out of the country for too long I guess because when I was enrolled in school I was 7 and I didn't eve know how to take the pen. Now you also have other opcions.......A tutor.......it doesn't have to be someone professional.....Even a Child that is in an advance class could help........Children in 6th grade love to play as a teacher. If you could talk to any of your friends with children in advance class that could alfabetizar the child......
 

J D Sauser

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It angered me to read the story just to know that there are people who call themselves educators and then denie education to a child....I have been out of the country for too long I guess because when I was enrolled in school I was 7 and I didn't eve know how to take the pen. Now you also have other opcions.......A tutor.......it doesn't have to be someone professional.....Even a Child that is in an advance class could help........Children in 6th grade love to play as a teacher. If you could talk to any of your friends with children in advance class that could alfabetizar the child......
I can "alfabetizarla" to be ready to attend 1 grade by September. And if I can't I will find somebody to do at my place. But formal education in my book should got a long way further, this is why I am trying to get her into, what I understood to be a good school.

... J-D.
 

J D Sauser

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If some of you would care to write to this school, I would be glad to PM their e-mail address. I don't know if the Moderators here would let me post it (a reason I have left their name out so far).

... J-D.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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If some of you would care to write to this school, I would be glad to PM their e-mail address. I don't know if the Moderators here would let me post it (a reason I have left their name out so far).

... J-D.
I would be glad to do it - but what about the issue of assuring the Director that this girl shows up everyday on time in clean clothes and does her homework and has a way to get home everyday that I pointed out earlier?

I'm sure they will find this important because kids who don't have parents here are considered problematic, but you can solve that basically by saying you will act as her guardian for all intents and purposes.
 

jalencastro

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i applaud everyone's efforts here to make life better for all children on these island. i am especially touched and moved with the idea that a school made of of expats could make a wonderful institution. i am interested and if i could help some way i would. mind you i am presently living in NYC. thank you all for these words of encouragement and hope! i hope your efforts pay off! - Jaime
 

guandulera

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Apr 22, 2008
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Count me in

I will be more than glad to write to them. My sister works in the govenment if you can send me the information of the school to see who she can talk to about it or if there is something else that can be done......I want to help in any posible way......Unfortunatly Sometime is about who we know.
 

J D Sauser

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I would be glad to do it - but what about the issue of assuring the Director that this girl shows up everyday on time in clean clothes and does her homework and has a way to get home everyday that I pointed out earlier?

I'm sure they will find this important because kids who don't have parents here are considered problematic, but you can solve that basically by saying you will act as her guardian for all intents and purposes.
As I understand, there are other kids from La Union attending that school. Usually a conch guagua picks them up and carries them back and forth.
Now, to be honest, the one girl who attends Sosua Int'l has missed some classes and I would not be surprised that it would happen with the other kid to. The priority of attending school is, as you may know, not fully clear to many here... some family events, including but not limited to, accidents, calls by the grand parents for a sudden visit and so forth seem to be rated much higher. But I seem them several times during the week, so I like to think that I've had some, even thou limited, impact on them and how they do or don't certain things.
I can guarantee payment and the acquisition of proper clothing, then it will be done by me. They are poor but as the vast majority they are CLEAN and very conscious about their aspect before hitting the street.

... J-D.
 

Ringo

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Mar 6, 2003
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JD,

Sounds like many of us would really like to see a positive experience.

Can you meet with the school director? Perhaps a donation to the school, along with your personal support, would help find her a spot. Let us know what you think would be needed to help.

What I see as a larger, and on going, problem is her living arraignments. I have tried to sponsor a couple of children. Purchased books, uniforms and materials that were "lost" as told by the parents and that I needed to buy more. Money for the mid-day meal and transport went other places. The children attended scholl for a short while but the parents then needed the children to work.... unless I gave the parents money.

I'm sure you have a plan that best insures that the child receives the benefits that you are trying to provide. I would like to see a success and leaarn from your experiences.

Respectfully, Ringo
 

Chip

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I don't believe the issue is where this girl "comes" from but rather will she be able to keep up with the studies, be punctual, not miss a lot of classes, be respectful, cleanly dressed, and have a ride to and from school, have food to buy lunch or some other means to eat, etc. - in other words not a problem for them in any way shape or form. Also, they will want a contact with an adult to resolve any issues and to meet with them to review "la nota", the grades.

I'm certain if you can adequetly explain to the Director that this girl will be a good student and you will be responsible for all of the aforementioned items, they will let her attend.