Stichting Help

Sosuakids naar School

Trip report may 2008

Eight months after September 2007, I was back in Sosúa again and this time for two and a half weeks. I stayed in the Casa Marina Reef hotel, a three-star resort, which is very comfortable. I was closely observed, not only in the street by Dominicans again, but also in the hotel, by staff and tourists. A woman alone, keeping herself so busy, that is strange.

All the main people were still there, both those from the Sosúa kids Organisation, and JudithColegio Evangelico Asher and Roberto of the Colegio Evangelico Asher. Karen, however, only came back from Canada a week later. During a small informal meeting of the Sosúa Kids Organisation in the “Checkpoint" bar on 18 May 2008, I handed over the symbolic picture cheque for 5,000 euros from our Foundation, Help Sosua Kids to go to School, to the Sosúa Kids Organisation. Wim de Jong from the Sosúa News was also present. This “cheque” now hangs proudly on the wall at Checkpoint, where tourists regularly go for drinks.

The Colegio Evangelico Asher has to move as soon as possible due to the dangerous situation at the current rented premises – shootings close to the school and high risk of break-ins. There is now an opportunity to buy a house in a safer neighbourhood nearby, which could serve as a school and is larger than what is currently rented. In order to raise money, Judith and Roberto organised a benefit concert on Saturday 24 May. We made every effort to attract interest and an audience. The concert was nice, but unfortunately there were very few people, because the tourists never or hardly ever leave the resorts, therefore very little money was raised.

I was also very busy again with meetings and visits. Briefly summarised, I visited the following places. The following two schools, Cienaga and Luperon, have several pupils who have been provided with school uniforms.

  • The school in La Cienaga, where I spoke with teachers and pupils
  • The Gregorio Luperon school in Sosúa, where I spoke with the head and deputy head
  • The Colegio Evangelico Asher, where I spoke with the teachers and, with Judith, looked at the building they hope to be able to buy. I am searching very hard for the 19,000 euros for this beautiful building, as our foundation does not have that amount of money
  • Jimmy’s school in the penniless Saman, which I hope to be able to provide a little support financially in the future
  • The poor village Los Algodones. The Samaritan Foundation has built a wonderfully large school, library and medical centre there. This merciful large investment has enabled this village to progress enormously.

With Linda, a faithful Sosúa Kids supporter who works at Meltours in Sosúa, I had agreed to visit ‘her’ motoconcho. Motoconchos are men who carry paying passengers on their heavy mopeds through the town. This man, nicknamed El Mosquitero (most Dominicans haveState School nicknames and usually people do not even know their real names) was involved in a road accident before her very eyes last year. He needed several pins in his leg; otherwise the leg is amputated if you do not have the money for this. Linda raised the money, because a motoconcho does not have that sort of money. His wife was seven months pregnant at the time. The motoconcho could currently not work for a year, has no income, and meanwhile has three children. From the daughter of a female friend, I now received a completely new outfit of clothes for his newly born daughter and some money. Lyndon and Barbara from the Sosuakids Organisation and I took everything by car to the family’s tumbledown shack in the hills. They were extremely grateful for the fine gifts.

After spending a couple days with Karen visiting all kinds of penniless Haitian villages, where she assists, I just sat there completely drained. On returning to the hotel, I immediately ran into the sea. After swimming around for a while, I felt that I had managed to wash off a little of the world’s injustice that clung to me. The food also stuck in my throat. The following day, Karen said to me ”once you stop crying, you stop caring”, and that is very, very true! I admire her and others who permanently provide so much assistance, partly because of their ability to cope with these feelings.

I notice how important it is to be on the spot with every visit. First, the mutual trust becomes increasingly strong, and secondly you see how consultation and checks are perceived so much better when you are sitting across the table from each other. Only when I am there, can I get the feeling of the problems. The thousands of kilometres that I then have to travel again can work to put things in perspective.


Sometime people in the Netherlands ask me: “when will your work there be finished?” I do not know and I do not want to know. We can’t abandon the 220 children who currently go to school because of us, can we? My only nightmare is that I have to stop because people will not give any more money, and then, luckily, I scare myself awake again!

I just received an email from a Dominican doctor in which he wrote in Spanish:
”nobody is so poor that they cannot contribute”…..