This July, Kids Alive Dominican Republic hosted its first ever Survivor Camp. Twelve students from our three residential homes moved into a house near the KAI school in Caraballo in order to test their independent living capabilities.
All twelve students will be aging out of KAI's care within the next year or so, and this two week camp was meant to give them a real life experience and life skills training in order to prepare them for this transition. The students earned minimum wage by attending a full-time life skills course led by our partner organization, Center for Global Impact. The training included modules on topics like self-esteem, professionalism and interview skills, creating a budget, and planning for the future, all with a Biblical foundation. With the stipend they earned, the students were expected to pay rent, electricity, groceries, household items, transportation, etc. If they arrived late to work or didn't participate in the training sessions, however, their pay was reduced. It was a great learning experience for all the students, and each one of them stated that they felt more prepared for the inevitable life transition that awaits them. We plan to hold Survivor Camp annually to prepare each group of students about to age out of our residential care.
The other exciting part of this camp was that three high school students and four staff members who are part of Kids Alive here in Caraballo also participated in the life skills course. KAI has a dream of starting a Vocational Center in Caraballo, and the life skills training that was given during the Survivor Camp will be used as part of the vocational training in the future as well. The local students and staff responded very well to the curriculum, and KAI is currently working on a business plan to set up the Vocational Center. Please continue to pray for our independence program and the realization of a future Vocational Center in Caraballo!