Vice Minister for Higher Education Heads The Way to Happiness
While the Dominican Republic is the most popular destination in the Caribbean, it is plagued by rampant social strife. Over the past two decades, the murder rate has increased by 25% and the country has become the largest narcotics base in the Caribbean. The public education system (the worst in the Caribbean and Central America, with nearly 50% of children dropping out of school) is leading to a high unemployment rate (15%). Child labor and youth prostitution are rampant.
Roberto Naya, a Miami resident and Caribbean native, saw in The Way to Happiness the solution to the moral decay that defines the rise in crime and violence in the Dominican Republic and launched a grass-roots campaign of lectures and training. One seminar for 20 teachers at the educational center of Santa Domingo’s Zoo led to lectures to thousands of students every month. Some 200 requests for the Way to Happiness curriculum and films followed from teachers of the students visiting the zoo on field trips, spreading the program to schools across the country. Naya next introduced the materials to government officials, which led him to the office of Vice Minister of Higher Education for the Dominican Republic, Enid Gil. She immediately recognized the efficacy of The Way to Happiness and, with Naya, activated an implementation plan across the nation’s academic community. A university professor herself, Gil became fully trained and certified to deliver The Way to Happiness program and did so in the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, the nation’s largest university. This resulted in dozens of student teachers volunteering as facilitators for lectures to hundreds of teachers, student guidance counselors, Ministry of Education district officials, and the 150 directors of public and private schools in the Moca District. The General Director of Community Services personally presented The Way to Happiness book-on-film and curriculum to all in attendance.
With 1,000 individuals trained, seminars were delivered to more schools, universities, law colleges, foundations supported by the spouses of Supreme Court justices and inmates of Najayo Prison. One inmate took 50 others through all 20 parts of the curriculum. Naya, Gil and the team presented The Way to Happiness book-on-film to every Senator; 1,700 DVDs to the National Welfare Department for each of their field representatives; and 4,000 to the Ministry of Education for all school guidance counselors in the nation. Television and radio appearances carried the message still further.
A COMMON SENSE GUIDE FOR BETTER LIVING
The Way to Happiness booklet of 21 precepts (rules or directions for conduct) is the centerpiece of comprehensive educational programs for school and community educators, business trainers and correctional professionals—complete with lesson plans and audiovisual teaching aids.
HELPING OTHERS FIND THE WAY TO HAPPINESS
The Way to Happiness Foundation International works to reverse the moral decay of society by restoring trust and honesty through widespread distribution of the 21 precepts. Donations support production and distribution of The Way to Happiness booklet and curriculum material.
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