History of the Foundation
In the summer of 2000, Danuta Sokolska, with the help of others interested in the project, bought 22,015 m² of land in Cabrera, Dominican Republic, to build a school and living quarters destined to accommodate young Dominicans from 7 to 18 years old. To protect the project, the Foundation “Les Enfants de l’Arc-en-Ciel” was created on 12 January 2001.
In October 2002, the Foundation “Los Niños del Arco Iris” was created and registered in the Dominican Republic in order to protect the School in that country.
In August 2005, the French delegation of the Foundation was created under the name “Les Enfants de l’Arc-en-Ciel - France” with the aim of supporting the works of the Foundation from France, and participating in the development of the School.
In September 2006, the School was inaugurated in Cabrera, Dominican Republic. Mrs Sokolska chose to settle there to ensure that everything ran smoothly. She is currently the Director.
Objectives and risks
The creation of a school that is free of charge for underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic.
The Foundation created and built, in the Dominican Republic, a School destined to accommodate children from the ages of 7-18, in order to provide teaching and the kind of education that promotes the individual development of each child, allowing them to develop their own talents and potential, while following a complete program of studies. School foreshadows the future civilization. The children are educated there to be open-minded without racial or other conditioning.
The instruction is based on the National Education program of the Dominican Republic, added to which is a European contribution. The teaching is given by a majority of Dominican teachers. The teaching staff is reinforced by teachers from other countries in the world.
The school prepares the students for graduate studies at international level. Thus a critical goal can be achieved :
- Give the young Dominicans training equivalent to that of their western friends.
- Promote the individual development of each student, in order to highlight their talents and potential.
- Contribute to the development of the students by promoting harmony between body, soul and spirit.
- Different cultural exchanges will be promoted by receiving children from the west and other countries in the world. Indeed the development of racial and socio-cultural exchanges between peoples allows them to know and to master their differences.
Committee of the International Foundation
Founder & President
Message from Danuta
Together, let’s build them a colourful future !
For several years, I have come into contact with children, youths and their families, as well as teachers in the Dominican Republic. What do we know of the Dominican Republic? A heavenly place to spend the holidays, on the other hand drug cartel, prostitution and poverty. And we say: “What can we do?”
It is in the Dominican Republic that the words “sharing” and “have” found their true meaning for me. In this country we share with ease. I remember being invited to a poor Dominican family where, at the end of the meal, the hostess went out to distribute the leftovers to the neighbours who hadn’t eaten that day.
For many here “have” means survival. The nobility of the Dominican people silently supporting the difficulty of daily life would surprise anyone willing to see it. It is sometimes very difficult to support the look in the children’s eyes when they stare at us questioningly…
The Dominicans possess an enormous intellectual potential that can’t always be developed because of financial difficulties. Parents dream of a better life for their children, a dream common to all parents worldwide. Can we act? Help to achieve the dreams of children and parents from another country? We have so much, can we not share a little?
This project is under the responsibility of Mrs. Danuta Sokolska, who is the President and Founder of the International Foundation "Les Enfants de l'Arc-en-Ciel" ("The Rainbow Children"), President of the Dominican Foundation "Los Ninos del Arco Iris," and Administrative Director of the scholastic center in the Dominican Republic. Mrs. Sokolska has lived in the Dominican Republic since the center opened.
Bernard Lonchampt, Vice-President of the International Foundation « Les Enfants de l’Arc-en-Ciel », an expert (with federal diploma) in « financial control », ensures the Financial Management of the project. Mr Lonchampt lives in Switzerland.
Dagmara Ochrymowicz, Committee member of the Foundation and a teacher at the School, is responsible for public relations in the Dominican Republic and supports the Academic Director in the assessment of school level controls. Mrs Ochrymowicz has lived in the Dominican Republic since August 2007.
Christian Monney, advisor and Committee member of the Foundation, specialist FMH in psychiatry and psychotherapy. Former Vice-president of the Association of Social Psychiatry, President and Swiss secretary of the International Group of Psychiatric Day Hospitals, acts as advisor for the protection of childhood. He lives in Switzerland.
Bernadette Cassat, President of the French association, Marie-Neiges Jauneaud and Fabienne Martin, members of the board of directors of the French association, have managed the latter on a daily basis since its inception in 2005.
Starting with the creation of the Foundation, Mrs. Sokolska has always been surrounded by a solid team, all volunteers, sharing the same desire to create a fairer world where each child receives the education he or she needs in order to develop and enrich his or her life. With this dream in mind, 17 people, (14 volunteers who donate their time and 3 expatriates in Dominican Republic who receive a small salary) living in Switzerland, France, and the Dominican Republic, from different walks of life and with different professions, have joined the general staff of the Foundation. Their actions contribute positively to the realisation of this dream.
In additon, the Foundation employs 32 salaried employees in the Dominican Republic, of whom more than 100% are Dominican. They work and provide for the daily functioning of the scholastic center.