We are thrilled to announce that we have recently acquired two Peace Corps volunteers that will be living in one of our Satellite communities in Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. The couple will be working on several initiatives with community members, most importantly strengthening the girls group and helping us better determine the unique needs of the girls living in this rural area.
LunaPads were distributed to a small sample of girls in this community about a year ago. Over the next few months, our new Peace Corps volunteer will be conducting follow-up interviews, distributing more products, and creating training and continuing education programs to ensure that the girls who receive kits are well informed, using them properly and staying in school.
As always we want to express our gratitude to our partner on this project www.lunapads.com as well as all of you who have generously contributed to it's success. We are working hard to make sure that this remains a high impact initiative that delivers lasting results. This update also includes a link to our 2011 Annual Report where you can read even more about the success of the project.
2012 has started off on an excellent note for the Mariposas. This year, we are focusing on providing extensive and tailored academic support for all the girls in our program, specifically for those who are behind their grade levels in reading and math. Our volunteers are working one-on-one with many girls during the week, using flash cards, games, songs and a variety of other methods to build excitement around reading and numerical literacy.
Four of our older Mariposas are also receiving intensive job skills training to provide them with greater opportunities once they graduate from high school and look to further their education. We have one office intern who helps our Office Manager with accounting, logistics and general tasks, and three other bright, young women who are being trained in marketing, advertising and sales to help in fundraising and publicity for The Mariposa Foundation. By providing adolescent girls with specific job-skills training, they learn valuable lessons in financial independence, professionalism as they represent themselves and the Foundation and interact with community businesses and other organizations. We are very proud of our rising young entrepreneurs and expect great things from them in the future!
We recently took a group of 10 girls for their second round of dental checkups and are providing ongoing care and follow-up treatment to those who need it. Our sports program is flourishing, with more girls enrolled in tennis and soccer programs. Once a week, the Mariposas get professional coaching in tennis and soccer, with one of our younger girls almost ready to compete in national tennis tournaments!
Our third annual Girls Summer Leadership Program is fast approaching, and we are excited for another year of girls-only theatre, dance, arts, sports and academics in an encouraging, supporting and empowering environment. This year we hope to add twenty more young Dominican and Haitian girls from the community into our programs. Many of these girls will be either younger sisters or cousins of girls already enrolled in the program, thus contributing to our vision of working with families and communities in a holistic way.
All of this would not be possible without your continued support, so thank you once again, and happy Spring!
We are continuing to follow up with the girls that received LunaPads kits in 2011 and are receiving quite a positive response. Starting in February a full time volunteer will join us to help us better track the progress on this initiative and get ready for the next group of young women to receive their kits. We hope to expand this initiative in 2012 and provide more kits so that more girls can benefit from this program. Our goal is to ensure that our girls begin their journey to womanhood with LunaPads and this becomes a cultural norm. The Mariposa girls have bi-weekly health classes and LunaPads education has been fully integrated into the curriculum. Happy, healthy, eco-friendly, money-saving alternative to help keep girls in school.
We want to thank you for your continued support and will continue to update you on our progress!