Dominican Republic

Palo Blanco School, Jarabacoa

Palo Blanco School is making a difference in the lives of nearly 300 impoverished children and is truly a fountain of life in the community. Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty, as well as the emotional and spiritual support to help kids recover from trauma and live with hardships.

The school, along with our associated programmes has grown steadily since the turn of the century and through the grace of God and our generous supporters, we’ve added a sports ministry, counselling and discipleship programmes, and university scholarships.

We are seeing more of our high school graduates entering university, and now that we have added classroom space, we are the first Kids Alive school in DR to offer a year 11 syllabus.

Our ever-growing sports ministry is really helping our children with their life skills and it has been wonderful to see our girls becoming more and more active in it.

Given how vulnerable just about all of our children are and how much trauma they have suffered, we are finding our counselling support is invaluable in enabling them to progress both at school and life in general.

“Our school in Palo Blanco is an oasis in the desert which provides living water for thirsty children and youth,” shares Country Director Vic Trautwein. “It’s a great privilege to help a program that so positively impacts so many individual lives and that is helping to change an entire community.”

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Palo Blanco School, Jarabacoa: A story of hope

Meet Irene*

Irene* came to our programme in Palo Blanco over 10 years ago when she was just three years old. For several years, she seemed emotionally troubled, always appearing downcast and spending a lot of her time alone. Even at school, she wouldn’t interact much with others, and she struggled with thoughts of self-harm.

But over time, things began to change. At Palo Blanco, Irene received the emotional support she needed to work through problems, and she met regularly with a mentor. Her demeanour has become more outgoing, she walks around smiling, and she accepted Christ as her Saviour. And now that Palo Blanco is in the process of extending education into the equivalent of DR’s sixth form and we are offering university scholarships, Irene has a path to grow up in a healthy environment and achieve successful independence.

We pray that she’ll also be a light to her family and community as she honours God with her life.

* name changed to protect privacy

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