Building Hope in the Dominican Republic
Through philanthropy and volunteerism, Lifetouch hands help rebuild lives. Since the very first Lifetouch Memory Mission® in 2000, teams of volunteers have answered the call for help across North America and around the globe.
For many years, a pastor in the city of Constanza, Dominican Republic, led the quest for a new school to alleviate severe overcrowding in schools in the area. Imagine the joy in the community when Constanza was chosen for the 2011 Memory Mission to help build a new school, its first trip to the Dominican
Republic and the first time Lifetouch volunteers were joined by non‐Lifetouch employees, which included school administrators representing the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
During that mission, enough progress was made toward completing the school’s first floor to accommodate 200 students. Subsequent trips by a reunion group of educators and Memory Mission teams have not only resulted in the completion of a second floor for Cecaini School, as it is now known, to eventually accommodate 400 students, but a home has been built for a student and his family.
Fast‐forward to late January 2014 and 2015 when volunteers teamed up for a third and fourth Memory Mission to Constanza for the latest venture, to build a vocational school so school children can continue their education and plan for careers as adults. Once again, Lifetouch employee‐volunteers partnered with members of AASA, NAESP and NASSP, along with educators from across North America and National PTA.
During each visit to Constanza, new relationships abound among the volunteers and members of the community, and opportunities for photographing the children and families on Picture Day are profound.
Lifetouch Memory Mission Coordinator Jan Haeg says, “This trip really cemented for me—with this school and the relationships that we’re building— that, together, we’ve created a partnership that’s causing some incredibly positive things to happen. And we are just a sliver of that.”
Contact Kelvin Miller at [email protected] or call 952-826-4141.