“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”
–William Butler Yeats
It is a privilege for SI to witness and be a part of the rural community of Los Higos near Jarabacoa in Dominican Republic. The people of this community have surrounded their young children with support as they take their first solid steps in education through the SI Los Higos Preschool. The preschool held a graduation ceremony when the academic year ended in 2016, and the local church where it was held was packed to overflowing. Kaylene Norvell, who was the summer intern at this site at the time, wrote about the ceremony on her blog:
“We had the best graduation Los Higos has ever seen. It started with worship, a video I made, and awards. Hector made sure that every student had an award, which was incredibly special. The entire ceremony was in Spanish, and I understood maybe half of it, but seeing the kids and their parents’ faces as they received the award didn’t need translating. Jessenia and I presented the award and took a picture with each child. Something I noticed was family members such as mothers, sisters, brothers, grandmothers, fathers, cousins, anyone who was there honestly, each of them took pictures of every student when they received their award. It showed the love and family-feeling of the culture and especially this community. They were so happy the graduation was happening that they took pictures of students who weren’t even theirs just to remember and share the memories. The love and relationships Dominicans have is something I’ve cherished and have wanted to bring to the US.” Read more here.
One of the main reasons this community has such buy-in is one of the young directors of the preschool is from Los Higos himself. Hector Rosario is a “profe,” and he inspires through his academic standards, his love for the people of Los Higos and the North American students who come to serve with him, and most significantly, his love for Jesus. He left Los Higos to pursue his own education, but returned to his home community with a desire to serve the Lord through the missional outreach of educating the next generation. Also, in 2015 he began working with Fijian national staff Ase Stewart, a joyful addition to this community and their meaningful work. Please pray for our staff and these precious young students, that they might learn and build a solid foundation in their academic and spiritual lives. Click here to learn more about this site and staff.