More Than Me

The More Than Me Academy is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.
Jun 9, 2014

Update on MTM's Library!

Albernita enjoying her library!
Albernita enjoying her library!

The More Than Me Academy Library is open! Thank you for supporting literacy at our school. We wanted to update you on how the money you raised is being spent. Last fall, we received a generous grant from the British Embassy in Liberia to open a brand new library! Only 11% of schools in Liberia have a library. On top of that, we've received several book donations for our library. Due to these two developments, the only book purchases we needed to make were for regional and cultural literature, so that our students can learn more about the community and culture they've been brought up in!

The money you raised will go to support our main project that supported this microproject, 500 Girls off the Street and Into School in Liberia. This is GlobalGiving's microproject policy, and we wanted to let you know how your money is being spent.

Thank you for your continued support. We couldn't do this work without you!

For the girls,

Emily and the MTM Team

May 29, 2014

Have you heard of intenSati?

Ashley and the girls celebrating after class!
Ashley and the girls celebrating after class!

Thank you for your continued support of our girls and our programs. We have had some amazing volunteers in the past few months and we wanted to share one of their stories with you. Here is Ashley's story:

I spent the last couple of weeks teaching the young women and girls of the More Than Me Academy in Liberia a practice known as intenSati. intenSati is an exhilarating workout that builds physical, mental and spiritual muscle. intenSati combines high-energy, total body training with positive affirmations that you either think or speak. I am possibly the first person to bring the practice of intenSati to Liberia and quite possibly Africa as a whole.  

During the time I had with these beautiful girls, bursting with potential, whose eagerness you could practically feel gyrating on the surface of their skin, we spent a lot of time talking about how to make our dreams come true-- how to make our dreams a reality.  

So here I was on my first day of teaching, standing in front of a dozen or so students in dusty uniforms with their big attentive eyes staring into mine when I realized my very dream, one in which I dreamed up two years ago, was coming true. I was living it.   

In order for us to create our dreams, to make our dreams a reality we must put in alignment our thoughts, our words and our actions. Thus is the idea I explored with the MTM girls through meditation (thought), verbal affirmations (word) and physical movement (action). I may never know the impact of my teachings nor the enormity of my efforts. For that, you should ask each and every girl I got the pleasure of teaching. What I can say for certain is that we had fun! We smiled, we danced, we shouted and we celebrated! Together with all our power we were able to slow down time and truly live in the NOW with no concern with what was coming next. 

Thank you Ashley for your amazing work with our girls! They had so much fun shouting things like "I am powerful!" and "I am strong!" while learning how to meditate and exercise in a healthy way.

Thank YOU, our amazing supporters, for believing in these girls. We couldn’t do our work without you! We have one month left of school, and the last day of school, June 25th, is also a Microsoft Bonus Day, with donations matched at 100%! Stay tuned for how you can get involved. 

For the girls,

Emily

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Ashley teaching intenSati to the community!
Ashley teaching intenSati to the community!
Class on the roof of our Guest House
Class on the roof of our Guest House

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May 29, 2014

First Update on Getting Girls in School!

The two tutors: Eve and Albernita!
The two tutors: Eve and Albernita!

We are still blown away by your support. The girls wanted to personally thank you for helping them stay in school and get their friends in school too!

There is one month of school left, and our students are working harder than ever. Our Principal, Maritza, teaches the most advanced class of girls, the Power Class. Here's her update:

The Power girls have been calculating area of compound shapes in math, and most of them were having a lot of trouble with it. I hired the two students who fully understand the math to tutor the other students. The two math whizzes are Eve, 13 and Albernita, 14. I walked into the room maybe twice to check in. It was completely student centered. I gave them a math review quiz the next day, and all the girls who attended the session passed. Success! 

It's stories like this that keep us going.

We also wanted to let you know about a slight change to our program for next year. Originally, we wanted to add 50 more girls for the 2014-2015 school year to even out all the classes to 25 students. This would mean recruiting girls from many different ages and ability levels. After further consideration, we realized that it would be more disruptive to the overall learning of our students to bring in girls from different grade levels and try to match them with our classes. Instead, we decided that adding a new kindergarten class only would make a lot more sense. That means we won't be adding 50 girls, but we will be adding a full class of kindergarteners next year! 

Thank you for your understanding. We are working hard to find the best way to move all of our girls forward. Our commitment to our students has not waivered. If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them. Please email your questions or comments to emilyb@morethanme.org. We are excited to finish out this year strong and continue planning for next year!

For the girls,

Emily

P.S. The last day of school, June 25th, is also a Microsoft Bonus Day, with donations matched at 100%! Stay tuned on facebook and twitter for how you can get involved.

Saturday tutoring session!
Saturday tutoring session!

Links:

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