Forgotten to Friendship

 Cesar and Estarlin help their classmate with a game that develops their motor skills.

Cesar and Estarlin help their classmate with a game that develops their motor skills.

Far too many children with disabilities are last in line for resources, especially when they are scarce to begin with. Often, these children are victims of violence, abuse, neglect, and deprivation. In many developing societies, they are forgotten.

One such example is Cesar, an adolescent boy in the Dominican Republic with mobility and language issues—he dropped out of school in the third grade because there was no way to help him learn.

When Cesar started ICC’s new adolescent program in the Santiago area, he was shy and hardly spoke at all. Kids with disabilities in the Dominican Republic are often shunned by even their own families and have very few social skills.

“These youngsters need a place to get orientation and education,” said Trudy Bekker, ICC DR National Director. “If not, the kids on the streets will take advantage of them, and they can get into gangs.”

Thanks to our donors, ICC’s innovative program can gather kids like Cesar to meet twice a week for hours at a time.  Cesar works on writing skills, math, and socializing, and eats a healthy snack, too. Recently, his teachers have noticed a big change in Cesar. Now, he begins the day by walking around the table greeting everyone with a firm handshake and big smile.

 Nelbis and Cesar met in the adolescent program and quickly became best friends.

Nelbis and Cesar met in the adolescent program and quickly became best friends.

But, even better, he has a new best friend named Nelbis.

Nelbis is fifteen.  He is lucky enough to also attend a school for children with disabilities in the mornings, but he loves to come to ICC’s program to get extra help with his writing skills and help the others in the group.  He says that he dreams of working with people with disabilities in the future.

The teachers say that they often see Cesar and Nelbis walking home arm-in-arm.

These individuals’ lives have been changed thanks to the support you give to International Child Care. The families are only charged $6 to attend the group, even though this only covers the cost of the snack—not the cost of the space or the expertise of the workers. Yet so many families cannot even afford the $6.

“In a leap of faith we started the program this year because of the great need, without knowing if we would have the resources to sustain it—but so far The Lord has been very faithful,” said Trudy. “We still need more resources for the coming years and trust The Lord will supply.”

Just $6 can change a life . . .

A simple $6 to ICC will cover the cost charged to a family for a month for an adolescent to attend the program. Donate today to give hope to children and adolescents living with disabilities.

This story was featured in our Fall 2016 newsletter. To read the whole newsletter, click here.