The Education Outreach Committee of Social Ministry in collaboration with the Society of Jesuits, Fe y Alegria and the local public school district has constructed and currently administers two public schools in El Cercado; San Francisco Javier – (kindergarten – 8th grade) and San Francisco of Assisi (a high school).
The majority of the youth in El Cercado will not attend college and 50% of those who do attend leave after the 1st or 2nd year because of high costs or family obligations. Due to these staggering statistics, immediate short range plans include the construction of a Vocational Technical School offering certified courses and a trade for those interested in electricity, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, refrigeration, beautician, barbers, sales, secretary, seamstress, computers and more.
A commitment has been made by a national Dominican Institution called INFOTEP to provide all of the necessary accredited teachers free of cost. Currently we are searching for donors and foundations to construct the building. The cost of a 3 floor, fully equiped, building will cost $351,000 US dollars. To build the first floor, that includes 4 classrooms, is $113,175.
The Education Committee also sponsors the ongoing legal training of 35 human rights promoters who accompany victims who are unable to hire a lawyer with sexual abuses and homicides cases through the complicated judicial system. The human rights promoters also help parents to register their children for birth certificates and work with Haitian immigrants to obtain legal documents.