Our local NGO: Red Misericordia

Programs for this blog post

Leadership & Service in Public Health

Authored By:

Megan Hoeffler

In the mornings this past week we have been going to our local NGO, Red Misericordia, to do our leadership and service work through learning and immersing ourselves in the mental, physical, and environmental health of the children.


Thursday, July 13:

We got to play a variety of sports including fútbol (soccer), volleyball, and basketball. The fútbol game was very competitive, mostly on the boy’s side as we lost the game with a score of around 5-1. Some of the students’ said that was the most exercise they have ever had in their entire life!


Monday, July 17:

Our group led two art classes with two groups of kids. The first group was with both girls and boys from ages 7-11. We started off the class by getting in small groups. The groups introduced themselves in Spanish, and asked each other what makes them happy and what was their favorite things in order to brainstorm ideas of what to paint. Afterwards, the groups painted together. Some of the things they painted were bunnies, lions, trees, flowers, nature, hearts, and more!                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The second group was older boys ages 11-16. We started off in small groups with the same question, “What brings you happiness?”.  For this art class we had each person in the group/pair paint something on the paper then switch every two minutes. This helped build a connection and initiate more creative ideas. These boys drew mountains, a basketball court, Yang Yang sign, and various things they like such as sports and food.


Wednesday, July 19:


Students worked with the younger group of kids in their covered gym. We connected to the kids through music, dance, and pictures. Some of our students brought handheld cameras and the kids loved taking pictures of each other and us. Afterwards we planted some vegetable seeds with the younger kids in their garden area.


Friday, July 21:

We divided the groups into two. We did a clay making/pottery class and the kids also worked on their final projects. They interviewed staff at Red Misericordia and asked them questions related to the three sectors of health we have been studying: mental, physical, and environmental health. Meanwhile the other group worked on making clay shapes of animals with the kids including mariposas (butterflies), serpientes (snakes), monos (monkeys), gatos (cats), and more! Then the groups switched.


Tuesday, July 25:


For our last day at Red Misericordia, our group completed the service work component of the program. Last session they painted a mural on part of the children’s playground at their school full of colors, butterflies (which as a staple in the DR), and a globe. Our group planted a garden next to session 1’s mural. With the help of the gardener we cleared out the weeds and rocks in the spot we were going to plant. Then we planted various plants such as three large bamboo plants, Cuban Lillies, Philippine tea trees, and Coralillo plants.


Our students’ reflected on their time at the NGO in their journal assignment. Some of the things they noted were how accepting the kids at the NGO are, and how they are respectful to us, especially as we navigate the language barrier. They noted their connection with them through playing music, sports, and art. Our students’ also reflected on the integral importance of being a role-model, leader, and safe person while at the NGO due to the kid’s different backgrounds and experiences.