Many youth in the Dominican Republic are unemployed. With no stable job in sight, many slip into a world of prostitution, gangs, and drug trafficking.
Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) and the Center for Transforming Mission (CTM) have partnered for several years to share Christ’s love and grace with these at-risk youth, equipping local leaders for building relationships.
Recently, CRWM and CTM have begun a new youth ministry—IMPACT clubs.
“We want to encourage churches, other organizations, and the youths themselves to see young people as agents of transformation,” says Mario Matos, CTM’s Dominican Republic executive director.
IMPACT clubs are for young people ages 12 to 20. While the groups include adult mentors, youths lead club activities—playing games, studying the Bible, receiving vocational training, and organizing community projects.
The IMPACT club in Guaricanos has 20 youths ranging from ages 11 to 19.
Francisco, 16, is a club member. “We have a lot of fun, and at the same time, we learn things we were not learning anywhere else,” he said. “The leader helps us think about how we can help our community to be a better place.”
“The only way today’s youth can imagine a brighter future is if we invest in equipping them today,” says Matos. “The task is not an easy one. It will take prayer, time, money, and people’s involvement.”