Creating a Learning Center/Fostering Cultural Exchange
Sister Island Project is currently focusing its resources on two related goals -- creating a learning center and fostering cultural exchange. In collaboration with Dominican community organizations and international supporters, we are working to create a learning center in the Yabacao region of the Dominican Republic.
This learning center will provide secondary and vocational education for Yabacaos youth and will also provide educational opportunities for the general community in academics, vocational skills, nutrition, and arts. The center will also serve as a hurricane shelter. Ecological sustainability is a central value in planning for the centers design and curriculum.
Our second, related goal is the facilitation of cultural exchange, through volunteer service by Americans and others. Exposure to diversity and the development of cross-cultural communication skills are urgent needs for Americans, never more so than in this post-9/11 world. There is a real call for us to become "global citizens." Sister Island Projects service opportunities allow volunteers from the United States and elsewhere to teach, learn, and step beyond the familiar. In doing so, volunteers become wiser, more capable citizens of the world. Likewise, our host families have the opportunity to feel respected and competent and engaged, hosting guests from far away. Dominican children receive a valuable educational opportunity while they share their culture and develop skills in relating to volunteers from the United States and elsewhere.
In this framework of mutually beneficial cultural exchange, Americans and Dominicans are working together to create a school in an impoverished community.