Teaching the next generation
When Marian started taking classes at NPH at the age of 11, she was painfully shy. No one would have expected the transformation that would take place. Marian is now a confident young woman, a qualified teacher, who is transforming the lives of the next generation of children at NPH Dominican Republic.
Marian grew up in a poor community, Nuevo Batey, next to the NPH school. This community of just 300 people consists largely of families who rely on income from local sugarcane plantations, or from factories in the neighbouring town. These are difficult, low-paid jobs, often taken by Haitian migrants who continue to be discriminated against in the Dominican Republic.
Marian grew up with her two siblings and parents in a small concrete home with a kitchen and living room which included two beds, one for her parents and one for the children. Marian started out at a school in the neighbouring town, but when she was 11 her father started working as a driver at NPH. Marian was delighted to receive a community scholarship to attend the NPH school, where she was given good quality education, two meals a day, uniforms, stationery and health check-ups. Her siblings also joined the NPH school.
For Marian, attending NPH meant that she could start to dream about a brighter future for herself and her family. At the NPH school Marian had many good teachers, who she remembers fondly. In fact, one of the teachers, encouraged her to choose teaching as a profession. He even helped Marian to submit her application to university.
Teaching is not something that she has always wanted to do, but it is something that she has grown to love. During her final years of high school Marian wanted to be an architect because art and design is one of her passions. However, she was worried that she might not be able to find permanent work in such a profession. Marian knew that teaching would provide her with a good, honest and stable job, which would help her inspire the next generation.
NPH continued to support Marian through her teaching studies at a training institute, just 20 minutes from the NPH home. From 2016 to 2019 Marian completed her degree and was soon employed by NPH to teach the sixth grade. This age group from 9-12 years old is ideal for Marian. “I love to see the children grow in confidence and ask questions in class.”
Marian admits that the pandemic hasn’t been an easy time. There have been a lot of changes over the past two years, with lots of teaching being done outside the traditional classroom. “But with everything that has happened, it makes me feel more motivated to be a better teacher,” Marian says.
Christmas is an important time of year for Marian. She looks forward to spending some downtime with her family, eating traditional Christmas food, and regaining energy for the year ahead. Marian looks forward to Christmas Eve mass and fireworks at midnight.
Before the Christmas holidays Marian plans to decorate her classroom and give each child a special treat. For Marian it’s important to build strong relationships with her students. She wants to show them that they too can break out the cycle of poverty and have a happy, independent life. The children certainly look up to Marian, allowing them to dream of a brighter future for themselves.