As I write to you, the temperature in the Gu Vo District is 80 degrees, but that's chilly by our standards! As 2017 winds down to a close, NAAF has so much to be grateful for, and also to be proud of. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, and the hard work of our staff and volunteers, NAAF has continued to grow in its mission to strengthen the Gu Vo Communities in the areas of education, health and wellness, housing, food sustainability, environment, animal welfare, and opening economic opportunities on tribal lands. We have so much to tell you about what we have been up to!
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, our small staff of 2 full time and one part time employees and 25 wonderful volunteers, NAAF has been privilaged to support the Gu Vo communities in 2017 by:
• Providing educational services to over 60 students in a district where the dropout rate is over 50%.
•Providing 3570 healthy and delicious meals, and 2288 snacks in our After School Program
• Driving a total of 12,739 to provide transportation to those in need, and pick up groceries
• Helping 7 young volunteers get their drivers licenses
As we enter the season of giving, there is so much that can be done to continue changing the lives of those who have so little. You can help:
A donation of $50 will sponsor fuel for one trip to the grocery store to buy food for one week.
A donation of $75 pays for one week of school for one student to work on a high school diploma through our Virtual Learning Center.
A donation of $100 will feed 20 students for one week in our After School Program.
A donation of $750 will pay for one educational field trip for the kids in our Summer Adventure Program.
We are excited to announce the opening of The Store in GuVo Village! The Store was started in response to community members’ need for access to food, previously a 90- mile drive away. The Store is a 900-square foot retail grocery market stocking basic food, hygiene, and household items. Now, instead of an extra long drive to the grocery store, community members can shop for their basic needs. The Store also serves as a job training and resume building opportunity. Young women and men who have participated in the NAAF programs are able to volunteer and work at The Store. The Store provides a place where young people can work, supplement their income, help provide for their families, receive job training, and build their resumes for future employment opportunities.
Gu Vo District Youth Council
The GuVo District Youth Council played a vital role in the success of NAAF's programs. This dedicated group of student mentors volunteered countless hours for numerous events NAAF hosted this past year. Their community outreach with NAAF’s After School program involved teaching traditional songs and social round dancing, living drug and alcohol free lifestyles, creating awareness about suicide prevention, and engaging youth in outdoor recreational activities. The Council hosted a youth conference themed "Empowering our youth through love and culture one heartbeat at a time.” They held an overnight camp for Honoring Veterans through O'odham Voices, as well as a Saguaro Fruit Harvest overnight camp. They organized a Get Out The Vote campaign, community clean ups, Fun Runs with Diabetes Awareness workshops, and a spiritual run. These fun and educational gatherings included traditional games, cultural sharing, storytelling, and guest speakers. The events were All-Ages and averaged between 75-100 participants.
Virtual Learning Center
At over 50%, dropout rates within the Tohono O'odham Nation are among the highest in the country. Students often drop out due to circumstances beyond their control, though they would like to earn their diplomas. Through a partnership with Grad Solutions, our Virtual Learning Center provides students the opportunity to earn their diplomas at their own pace, through online instruction. We are excited to report that our Grad Solutions program is now at full enrollment!
Thanks to your generous donations, 2017 has been a great year for NAAF. We hope to make 2018 even better, and with your help, we can make that happen. Thank you so much!
Happy Holidays from all of us at NAAF!