Because of your generosity we have experienced tremendous growth and success over the past few months. We have opened an official Mariposa office space and resource center for the girls in our community. A safe, secure and inviting space where our girls can come to read, study, check out library books and relax in a quiet room away from all the distractions of their often overcrowded homes. The girls and neighborhood kids have already checked in and out the books over 500 times since March!
There have been a lot of individual successes as well. Two of our Mariposa girls began University this spring and are also interning in the Mariposa resource center to develop essential business and office skills. We also have a girl in our sports program who last August was afraid to put her foot in the water and is now a competitive swimmer!
Our intense Health and English program concluded in May and the school year has just ended. Four of our girls who needed to pass eighth grade national exams worked intensely with individual tutors and have passed with flying colors.
We are gearing up for the second year of our Girls Summer Leadership Program. This summer's program will include two healthy meals a day, environmental education, sports, theatre, dance, intensive academic tutoring, field trips and more. Working together with certified teachers, students, parents, local and international volunteers Mariposa creates this unique experiential education program just for girls. Camp will run for four weeks from July 11th - August 5th.
All of this is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from people like you. We have lots more exciting things planned for the rest of the year so stay connected for more updates on what the Mariposas are up to!
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The Mariposa DR Foundation
We are proud to present our report of the first 18 months of the Mariposa DR Foundation. Reaching our goals is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from people like you. We want to thank you for believing in our cause. We hope that you will take a few minutes to review our report (attached) and see how you are helping us Unleash the Leader in our girls.
After spending the previous day relaxing at a tourist filled beach town with tons of hotels and nice waterfront restaurants, Patricia and Jessica from Mariposa introduced me to another side of the town of Cabarete. We met at Patricia’s coffee shop where several of the older girls Mariposa works with have found employment. I was provided with a summary of Patricia’s long history of involvement in the community and how, after years of working to establish a quality education system for the children of Cabarete, the logical next step for her had been for her to form Mariposa with the goal of seeking to educate and empower young women in the community.
After our discussion and a few cups of organic Dominican coffee, Patricia and Jessica walked us around the town in which they work. The slum lay just out of sight from the tourist filled beach road, hidden behind hotels and storefronts; it likely went unnoticed by the majority of visitors- including myself until this point. As we walked, people were constantly waiving and coming up to say hola and discuss various issues with the women, providing an illustration of just how great the scope of the work is that these women were doing. We were welcomed into the homes of several of the girls Mariposa works with- most of them small, one-room shacks with a family of 8 or more, only curtains acting as dividers between sleeping areas, and garbage filled swamps for backyards. But these living conditions were only a small element of the hardships many of the girls in the communities are dealing with. We were introduced to some of the girls and got a small taste of just how badly needed Mariposa’s service were. We met teens who had become pregnant, living with abusive fathers, had lost family members from easily preventable situations, and one HIV positive young girl, who, without the assistance provided my Mariposa, would not be able to access the ARVs needed to help stem the progress of her disease.
We met many girls with many different problems, but as Mariposa recognizes, there is one solution- enabling these young women to change their situation and empower them with knowledge and confidence that will help them to create a better future for themselves and future generations. Mariposa has taken holistic approach to helping girls and their families overcome negative effects of poverty and change the stereotype of what it means to be a woman in a developing country.
We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of those who donated to the Global Giving challenge. We far exceeded our expectations and are amazed that we were able to raise over $30,000 in such a short amount of time. We are proud to be the project that won for most unique donors!
Your support makes it possible to breakdown the barriers that prevent girls living in poverty from getting an education and making it from adolescence to adulthood safely. We are a young organization and we are thrilled to have you endorse our cause. As you know the cost of continuously improving lives does not go away and we hope for your continued support in the future.
Over the Christmas holidays we were able to provide boxes of food for all of the 52 girls and their families. Soon we will launch our new video and have lots of great things planned for 2011. We're also recruiting long-term volunteers to come and work with our girls!
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