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In NCM Africa’s program, caregivers and volun- teers observe children at home and in the church’s holistic child development program. If a volunteer perceives through the child’s behavior and play that the child has a problem, the volunteer will try to talk with her or him about that issue, using play time as the means of communication.

Through six weeks of one-hour play therapy ses- sions, children bond with volunteers and build trusting relationships. They often feel safe enough to share about their lives and problems. The vol- unteers honor this trust by keeping each session confidential.

So far, trained volunteers have seen around 40 children in ongoing play therapy sessions. The training guides volunteers to be careful about the children’s safety as well as their own. If a child presents a problem that needs specialized atten- tion, the volunteers will refer him or her to a pro- fessional. If volunteers learn that a child’s life is in danger, they will make appropriate contacts in the community to ensure the child’s safety.

NCM Africa Child Development leaders plan to expand the range of this essential program through a training-of-trainers model, where a trained NCM play therapy specialist will train others around the region to implement play therapy programs.

The goal of NCM’s child development programs is to provide holistic services to children in the name of Jesus. The play therapy program provides chil- dren more opportunity to be children by giving them age-appropriate means of dealing with their grief as they witness Christ’s transforming work in their lives. n


LOCATION: Savica Church of the nazarene and the Yireh (God Provides) Child Development Center (CDC) are in the city of azua, South District in the Dominican Republic. azua is located on the Caribbean Sea side of the country and is the province near- est to Haiti. Though very beautiful, the community where the Savica Church of the nazarene ministers experiences poverty beyond their control.

CONGREGATION HISTORY: In 2002, the congregation was only five members strong. They started working with JESUS Film Harvest Partners to reach out to the community through sharing the story of Jesus. They also studied the needs of people in their community and found that many children were in need of support. They started work- ing with nazarene Compassionate ministries to grow the Yireh CDC. The program helps the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus by reaching out to the community’s families.

PROJECT COMPONENTS: Twenty-three children are sponsored through nCm at the cen- ter. Its activities include: • a homework drop-in center. • Bible teaching. • English as a second language classes. • Parent meetings at the center and home visitations to check on the wellbeing of the children.

• a hot meal. • Semillitas Para Cristo (little Seeds for Christ): a 28-week program teaching young children and adolescents about being disciples of Christ. The church is baptizing six adoles- cents after their training and commitment to Jesus through this program. n



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