As many of you know, I had the wonderful opportunity to help build on to a school in the Dominican Republic. It was a life changing experience, and I learned many new things. It was such a joy to be part of a team of leaders from all across North America who not only believed in, but clearly practiced, service leadership. Each morning, we loaded up two mini buses and headed to Rio Grande, a rural community just outside of Constanza.
The first thing I learned was how to mix cement (6 wheel barrows of sand, 4 of gravel, cement powder, and mix with water) and lay brick to build walls. We made human chains to pass along buckets and buckets of heavy cement to pour and form a staircase to the second floor, and human chains to pass along heavy bricks.
Building on to a school was one thing, but the more important thing was the joy of building relationships because relationships changes lives, not just in the Dominican Republic but here as well in Canada. Education provides opportunities for a better life, but it is the relationships that are formed that is most important. If children feel safe and cared fore, learning will improve!
Education is the key to success, and we are so fortunate to have free, good education. Because of the school, the children had opportunities to learn and develop their potential. For instance, Christopher, a grade 3 boy in this rural community, had the highest math score in the country last year!
I also was reminded you don’t have to have a lot of “things” to be happy in life, and that people all around the world all smile in the same language. We went to build a school, but we did more than put up brick walls. We had the joy of building relationships as well as building hope! It truly was an honour and a privilege to be part of this mission. Thank you Berkshire Broncs for helping fundraise for this worthy cause!