By Priscilla Roy
"Let the little children come to me. Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:4
Jesus' tender love for children was so beautifully reflected as we were welcomed to the El Prodigio community in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
At an early childhood education centre supported by World Vision, we met Elizabeth. She's a facilitator and teacher, and manages the centre. Her passion for her work was obvious as she introduced us to her team and shared her experiences about the help they receive from World Vision.
Elizabeth was 13 years old when World Vision came to work in her community. Her sisters were sponsored and their lives have never been the same! Elizabeth joined as a volunteer, as she was very impressed with World Vision's work and wanted to be a part of it.
When World Vision set up this early childhood education centre and play space in the community, she became an employee.
"We call it "House of Angels' because we believe that kids are angels and they bring us so much joy," she told me.
The centre has nine facilitators, five of whom have received scholarships from World Vision to go to university. The team also runs a youth movement which coaches teens in vocational skills and personal development. It was great to take a tour of "Shadday," an academy of dance and music for children to enjoy extra-curricular activities. Priscilla poses with children at the centre on her visit to El Prodigio. Photo: World Vision.
Skills training like sewing and embroidery, beautician courses and cooking classes are some of the many programs that are also offered, which help the youth become independent and self-sufficient for the future. Truly inspiring to see the huge difference being made in their lives!
Elizabeth was extremely grateful and became very emotional as we talked, saying, "We received very good training in the workshops, and now we want to use our skills to teach and help others, build better communities and spread the happiness and joy that World Vision has given us."
The gratitude and love shining in Elizabeth and her team's eyes will remain etched in my memory forever, and this is only possible because of the continuous support of our generous sponsors, who enable us to do the wonderful work we do in serving the most vulnerable!
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