My Arms Wide Open

My Arms Wide Open's purpose is to rebuild communities through supporting mothers, children and youth to break the chain of their parents' past prejudice, to create community and preserve their culture. Guiding principles for My Arms Wide Open mirror those of founder Warren Te Brugge. "These are the principles by which I live my life and make decisions to deliver value in the eyes of the communities I serve."
Nov 3, 2014

Growing the Right Food

Growing the Right Food
Growing the Right Food

Growing the Right Food

As we build more of our Vegetable Food Walls we realize how important it is to make the right selections in each community and to consult as broad a group as possible within the community. Just using healthy as the guiding factor, doesn't make for the best choices. While our My World, My Garden and My World in a Garden programs are successful, we'd like to share what that means to us.

Creating a Successful Vegetable Food Wall

Many people may think that because one of our vegetable food walls grew really well and produced a lot of food, that we might deem that to be successful. The fact is that we measure success very differently. We don't look at growth, but focus on consumption. 

We look at success from this point of view so that we can determine how well we listened, heard and implemented the feedback from community members during our assessments, into our projects. After all, we could grow thousands of pounds of vegetables and if they are not the vegetables the community members actually eat, then what was it all for? 

Duplicating the Process

So why are we telling you this? It is critical for us to have the resources available to continually update our curriculums and programs so that we can achieve our ultimate goal where the program takes on a life of its own and the vegetable food walls start to pop up in communities everywhere. To do this we need to keep building and spreading the word for now and that's where we need your help.

Your Contributions Make All the Difference

There are many ways that you can support our effort to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the girls, women and children that we serve. Visit the My Arms Wide Open site to find out more.

Please Donate Now!

 

Warren
Warren's Wall, Vancouver Canada
Nov 3, 2014

and they will Drink

Keeping the water flowing
Keeping the water flowing
Water, Water Everywhere... and they will Drink

Although this is a short update on our One Brick At A Time Project there is a LOT of Excitement in the Air!! Our trip is underway, with EWB already on the ground in Bergnek and me heading there this weekend. From all reports so far, things are proceeding as planned and we have a number of additional meetings during the Week of November 3, to finalize a few things. There is a lot of excitement in the air as this has been in the planning stages for over two years and it is finally coming into reality.

We are not out of the woods yet

We really need your help. We need to raise 5% of the total cost of the program ourselves, that's a total of $7,500.  So we are asking for your help in getting more people involved in the One Brick at a Time Program, which provides a direct benefit to the children and people of the Bergnek community in rural Limpopo, South Africa.

Please forward our reports/emails and ask friends and family if they would like to support the My Arms Wide Open's programs.

Assessment Trip is underway

The first step in the project, the assessment trip is underway to survey the land, determine where we can buy materials in country, visit existent available wells, and other suitable water sources. The EWB team will also be conducting Water Hygiene and Sanitation courses at the local school and community center, during the trip. 

Next Steps

Once the assessment trip is completed, the EWB team will return home to begin the planning for the first phase of the actual build out. We will all return in 2015 to actually start the work. In the meantime, My Arms Wide Open and it's team will continue to ensure there is at least a source of water in the community, as we have for four years now.

Your Contributions and Donations DO make the Difference

There are many ways that you can support our effort to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the girls, women and children that we serve.

Please Donate Now!

We
We're being really patient... will you help us?
Oct 31, 2014

Strength and Resilience through Equality

School Uniforms for all
School Uniforms for all

GirlStuff is about Equality

The GirlStuff initiative and business is grounded in equality. It is not about dominance or tipping the scales one another. It is about bringing a balance to communities, as they grow into the future, in which every person is embraced, accepted and valued because they are a person. 

The Power in Equality?

Equality is having the ability and foresight to see the person first and because we see first simply the person and NOT their attributes or defining characteristics, we are in fact, able to celebrate their uniqueness and see clearly how they can contribute and strengthen the community. It's not to say people do not have attributes that may not be valuable, it's about seeing the ones that are and being able to apply those they do have appropriately or even differently.

It's the ability and skill, to be able to see more than simply judgment, which enables people to become resilient and be able to hold onto hope and keep moving forward, upward.

Reaching Further, Faster

In building the business in Bergnek, we've realized we need to take bigger steps, and to take them at a faster pace. As a result, Bergnek Community Projects has taken the steps to grow the Bergnek based, GirlStuff business by signing an MOU in October 2014 to raise money and expand the Business working with a new partner. We know that GirlStuff provides girls with the washable and reusable feminine hygiene supplies that they cannot afford to buy, but desperately need, so they can attend school. We are also closing the loop on other related needs, such as school uniforms and sports wear. The additional funds that we raise will help us to reach across South Africa and the surounding region.

Why the focus on Girls? Keeping girls in school longer, gives them the chance to take advantage of opportunities that they otherwise would never have had the opportunity to, which has a direct benefit on their communities. In general, there are different expectations set for boys, and they get to avail themselves of a broader range of opportunities than girls do. The facts show that girls who get exposed to more opportunities, greater opportunities, do significantly more for their communities than their male counterparts. The time has come to do more to enable girls to see more and do more.

How can you help?

Your contributions and donations DO help and there are a number of ways that you can support the communities efforts to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the girls, women and children that we serve.

Please Donate Now!

GirlStuff Pads
GirlStuff Pads

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