Notes from the DR 4

Justice and Education by Robin Mohle

He has shown you, oh mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

I sit on a rough wooden bench in a concrete sanctuary next to a young man named Joshua. He holds in his hands a workbook that he has been using at Bethel Baptist Church’s homework club. We are guests this afternoon at the Church homework club, and we have been asked to work alongside the students as they do exercises to expand on what they learn in the local schools. The children use the workbooks as guided by their teacher Wonder (who really is a Wonder), who gets us working on exercises with spelling and literacy. Between exercises I practice the little Spanish I have, asking Joshua his favourite colour. He answers me in English. The practice the goes both ways.

Access to good education is considered by many to be a basic human right, but it isn’t always simple to get. A careful look at the systems in place show that children from homes that possess material wealth tend to have the best and easiest access to education, which in turn will give them access to higher paying jobs and more opportunities. This is true in all countries, but especially evident in places like the Dominican Republic where private schooling is out of reach for many families, and the public school system often falls short.

It took until the end of the week for me to put together a few facts about Joshua. He’s the oldest of 3 siblings in a single parent household. His mom makes money cleaning houses and had made approximately 30 US dollars so far this year. Private school is out of reach for Joshua, who shows so much potential, but Bethel Baptist wants to help.

At Bethel justice looks like leveling the playing field to give kids who would be out of luck societally a chance to access a better education. Talking to Yara, his mother, you would never know her situation. She exudes joy, and proudly says that she is blessed by this family God has given her.

The SENT Team with the homework club.
Wonder leading a vocabulary lesson.
Wonder checking the kids homework.
Robin talking with some of the kids before worship service.