THE BIRTH OF CHARLIE’S FOUNDATION
In 2015, Charles and his daughter Ali decided to launch Charlie’s Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to expanding the educational and vocational opportunities of young people in the Dominican Republic. Their interest in helping grew from their experiences in the D.R. and the respect they have for its peoples and cultures.
Charles recognized in the struggles of the Dominican children many of the difficulties he faced in his own childhood, particularly the crushing weight of poverty. As the Foundation’s mission statement puts it, “poverty is not only a physical condition, the lack of even the barest necessities, but a spiritual one as well. It breeds low self-esteem, robs children of their potential, and darkens any hope for their future. Learning to play sports did not solve these problems for Charles, but it did give him the tools - self- confidence, discipline, and a sense of his own potential - to seize on the few opportunities that were handed to him.”
“Charlie’s Foundation is a Canadian and Dominican non-profit organization that teaches Dominican youth the English language, connecting them with the wider world and improving their future career prospects. Our method combines English lessons with tennis instruction, because we believe in the power of sport to motivate, challenge and inspire.”
“Currently, Charlie’s Foundation teaches English and Tennis to approximately 130 children who live in La Ciénaga, Cabarete. We have two programs. The first, named Elementary English as a Second Language caters to children between the ages 6 and 12. In it, students attend 1.5 hours of instruction daily from Tuesday through Saturday—one hour of English instruction and 30 minutes of tennis instruction. The second, named the 13+ Program, is for students between the ages of 13 and 18 who have graduated from Elementary English as Second Language. In this program, we continue to teach English especially through group projects related to community and the environment. In the 2019-2020 school year, we intend to turn this program into a Career Readiness / Vocational Training program. Finally, in the summers, we run a 6-week academic summer camp.”
For more information on Charlie’s Foundation, you can visit www.charliesfoundation.org. For instructions on how to donate, you can visit charliesfoundation.org/donate/.