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THE BIRTH OF CHARLIE’S FOUNDATION

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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/.

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