We are just five months into 2012 and already this has been an incredibly busy and successful year for The Mariposa DR Foundation. Since January we have welcomed several new members onto our executive and advisory boards, worked with over 50 international and local volunteers and teachers, hosted several student groups and service learning trips as well as strengthened our programs to effectively serve the needs of girls in the communities where we work.
July 2012 will mark our 3rd Annual Mariposa Girls Summer Leadership Program. This year we will welcome more than 20 international and local volunteers and teachers for the summer to work with 70 girls in the community. This summer we anticipate accepting 25 new girls into our program. We have many exciting things planned for our girls including theatre, art, dance, sports, field trips and more.
We have been working hard over the past few months to really develop and strengthen the sports component of our Girls Leadership Program. Sports help girls build self-confidence, develop important teamwork and goal-setting skills, and increase their capacity to learn by improving memory and concentration, giving them a leg up in the classroom. In addition to water sports this past spring we also had girls participate in volleyball, soccer, tennis, capoeira and circus!
As always we thank you for your continued support and look forward to sending another update during the summer!
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!