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Education campaign turns Dominican Republic yellow

17 December 2010

Dominican education campaigners stand with yellow umbrellasA campaign supported by Christian Aid partner the Centro Montalvo calling for increased spending on education was very hard to miss in the Dominican Republic.

Thousands of people from all walks of life wore yellow T-shirts, caps or shaded themselves from the sun with huge yellow umbrellas. Buses, cars and buildings sported bright yellow banners all with one simple message: 4%.

The Coalicion Educacion Digna campaign is calling for the government to double its spending on education, honouring a commitment in the DR constitution.

Christian Aid Country Manager, Sophie Richmond explains: "At the moment the government invests around 2% of GDP in education - one of the lowest figures in Latin America and yet education is a right for all and is extremely important for the development of any country."

Yellow Monday

"The government invests around 2% of GDP in education - one of the lowest figures in Latin America."

What started as a low budget campaign by Centro Montalvo with a Christian Aid grant has snowballed into possibly the largest public campaigning event the Dominican Republic has seen. At 4pm on 'Yellow Monday', people got together in 70 different places around the country. Dominicans as far away as Barcelona posted pictures of their own events online. Hundreds of organisations including the Catholic Church joined up to the campaign, television personalities and even a former president showed their support.

"Yesterday seeing people dressed in yellow while doing their shopping in the supermarket or with yellow ribbons tied to their cars it felt really exciting to see so many people participating."
Sophie Richmond

Dominican Republic budget

Representatives of the coalition have met with the government to discuss the budget, but no promises have been made.

More than ever before thousands of Dominicans will be waiting with baited breath for the announcement draft 2011 budget.

"What a beautiful fiesta of social commitment, solidarity and national unity. We will keep going because the law, ethical principals and God is with us. What a way to prepare for Christmas."
Mario Serrano Marte, Director of Centro Bono a member of the campaign coalition.

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