A STRATFORD couple are packing up their home to live in the Dominican Republic for three years, where they will work for a charity called Community Partners Association (Copa).
Bob and Alison Hampton, of Lodge Road, will leave this month (October) to live in a small village called Bombita, outside Barahona city.
Alison who was chaplain at the Shakespeare Hospice for two years and chaplain at Myton Hospice for a year, was on the ministry team at St Andrew’s Shottery, where she regularly took services. She also took services at St James’, Walton.
While in Bombita, Alison will be taking responsibilities in pastoral and spiritual care. She will also be working with Episcopalian Church as a priest and pastor.
Bob worked at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School for two years, where he was an IT technician. He was also parish administrator for St Peter’s, Wellesbourne and St James’, Walton. Bob will be project director at Copa.
The couple were also actively involved in the Churches Together Street Pastors in Stratford, and were on patrol every month.
The couple have four children and two grandchildren. Alison told the Herald: “They are thrilled that we are making a career change and are looking forward to visiting us.”
In 2011, the couple heard about the charity Mission Direct, which organises two-week overseas trips to help build or decorate a house, classrooms or clinics.
They picked up a leaflet while they were at Christian music event, the Greenbelt Festival, in Cheltenham.
Alison said: “We didn’t think any more about it until I was clearing out my bag. When we read it, it seemed like just the sort of trip we had been looking for.”
They went to the Dominican Republic for the first time in 2012, on a two-week short term mission with Mission Direct.
Alison continued: “We loved the country and the people. We were asked by Mission Direct to lead the summer campaign this year for them and so spent the three months of June, July and August, working with teams from the UK building houses and helping with various other projects.”
During the summer they worked for Mission Direct in Sosua, on the north of the island. They took on the roles of team leaders, overseeing volunteers working on short term missions.
The couple also had the opportunity to travel to Barahona, where they will be living. Their main project was to work with Mission Direct’s partners, The Samaritan Foundation, building houses, as well as building and supporting clinics and schools.
Alison added: “Although the Dominican Republic is known for its sandy beaches and holiday atmosphere, behind that facade is a country in need.
“Many people live in very reduced circumstances with little or no access to education, good housing, employment or health care.”
Copa runs two schools and two clinics. It raises its funds by the sponsorship of children in the schools.
The couple said there are 80 children who need a sponsor. To find out more about their work with Copa or make a donation, visit www.copa.org.uk
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