Christ in the Garbage Ministries - DR
In 2003 - Mustard Seed Communities became aware of a community of people living in the local garbage dump covering 13 acres called La Union in Sosua, Dominican Republic. This dump is within a few miles of the MSC home in Puerto Plata, Dominica Republic. After seeing it and hearing that another local organization was discontinuing their feeding program, MSC decided to step in and continue it. That summer, MSC began offering bi-monthly meals to the people of La Union.
In early 2008 - CIGM opened a school for the children of La Union in the Dominican Republic. After a few years of offering monthly food packages and praying with the DR dump community, MSC wanted to do more to help address the real problem. Many Haitian refugees live and work in and around this large city dump and most of them are not able to read and write Spanish, the national language of the Dominican Republic. Therefore, the children are not permitted to attend public schools and without education, they limited their chances of ever leaving the dump community. CIGM opened the elementary school to focus on helping these children learn to read and write and offers the opportunity to attend classes for free.
The school in Batey La Union, has over 40 students who attend – they range in age from 4 to 14 years old. These students leave the dump to attend classes for 3 to 4 hours a day. The students attend the school in two shifts and each shift receives a meal. The academic program is based on the public school elementary program and teaches three subjects: Spanish, math and faith studies. Preschool and special summer programs are in place for the children under age 7.
Mission Volunteers from St. Thomas More conduct a medical clinic at the school in Batey La Union.