Where in the world?
The World Map Project has our children learning new facts about the world.
March 18, 2012 - Dominican Republic
Within minutes of a new volunteer or visitor arriving to our NPH-Dominican Republic home, our children will approach him with the famous question, “De que pais eres?” or, “What country are you from?” The children are so eager to learn about new countries, cultures and most of all, how far away your home country is from NPH. The children’s curiosity about the world is beautiful and one volunteer took it upon herself to foster this curiosity.
Kristina Cavit, a former volunteer, would respond to the children when asked this question with, “I am from New Zealand, a small island in the Southern Hemisphere where the stars are upside down.”
Santa Rosa girls and their map
When asked to point New Zealand out on a map, one girl even looked up at Kristina and asked her, “Do you come from the end of the world?”
Driven by the kids’ curiosity, Kristina had an excellent idea. She says, “Considering our children are so interested in learning about their volunteers’ home countries, we can educate them about far away countries and hopefully they will be able to teach other Dominicans what they know. As volunteers and donors help NPH from around the world, we can also educate our children on the countries where the help comes from.”
Several years ago, our older boys house, San Antonio, was gifted a beautiful, hand-painted world, and she thought it would be beneficial for each of the children’s houses to have one. Donations raised from generous New Zealanders were enough to cover the costs of an outreach project and also a world map for 13 children’s houses (including the Casa Santa Maria, our Haiti Cancer Project), and the school.
The donation arrived after Kristina had returned to New Zealand but the remaining group of volunteers took this task on full-heartedly and were very dedicated to the project. Each volunteer made their specific house’s map unique to their kids in order to better engage them. For example, the maps in the girls houses have more purples and pinks and the maps in the younger houses and special needs house have animals to better spark interest. In one of the boys' houses, Santo Domingo, their volunteer wanted to do a detailed map of the Dominican Republic because the boys already had a sizable world map. Each map is in Spanish, with the exception of the one in Haitian Creole, and the children are learning a lot.
Several volunteers even asked their children to lend a helping hand with their map. Ricardito, who lives in Santo Domingo, was one of the artists for his house’s map. He says, “I learned a lot because my hands made the map. It now hangs beautifully in my house and I like showing it to visitors when they visit!”
The project is still a work in progress, but several of the maps have been mounted in the children’s houses. Volunteers have planned games and quizzes to motivate the children to gain more knowledge about the world. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of our friends from New Zealand. Due to their efforts these world maps will encourage children to keep asking, “De que pais eres?”
Communications Officer and Project Manager