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Nov 11, 2013

Mariposa Girls are Going to High School!

Flavia Vidal with Mariposa Girls
Flavia Vidal with Mariposa Girls

Dear Friends,

It's been a very exciting fall here at The Mariposa DR Foundation. Because of your support we have been able to provide tuition scholarships, uniforms, books and supplies to all of our high school age girls! For the 2013-2014 academic year we have enrolled 16 girls in Cadin, a local Dominican private school, run by long time community leader and educator, Flavia Vidal. There are no day time high school programs in the town of Cabarete where we live so we provide transportation and resources to get our girls to our neighboring town of Islabon so that they can succesfully continue their education.

As a pioneer for education for poor children in her small, rural town, Cadin Director, Flavia Vidal, is thrilled to welcome the Mariposa Girls to her school. For more than 20 years, Flavia has worked tirelessly to provide quality education to children in her community. After seeing many girls slip through the cracks, drop out and get pregnant, she knows how critical it is to keep girls in school. Flavia is personally committed to the success of the Mariposa girls and we are grateful for her leadership and support. The Mariposa DR Foundation is also committed to making sure that Flavia has the resources she needs at her school to ensure that all the children at Cadin have access to quality education. This is just one of the ways that we form strong partnerships with great organizations and schools in our community, weaving a tight web of support for our girls that will enable them to succeed.

When girls are given the opportunity to pursue more education, this brings well demonstrated benefits for them and related benefits for the whole society. Girls with higher levels of education on average marry later, have smaller families, are more likely to survive childbirth and experience reduced incidences of HIV/AIDS. 

These girls are the most effective means for ending generational poverty and we have you to thank for ensuring that our Mariposa girls have a bright academic future.

With gratitude,

The Mariposas

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Nov 8, 2013

Permaculture Gardening @ Mariposa Center for Girls

Dear Friends,

We are so excited to share news of our latest collaborative effort – a permaculture garden! In our last update, we shared news about the successful fundraising campaign we ran to renovate and open our swimming pool in time for summer camp.  Not only were our swim lessons fantastic, but they were truly lifesaving as well.

During the summer, one of our wonderful long-term volunteers partnered with Taino Organic Farms to institute an Eco studies program. The idea in mind was to create a permaculture garden. Gardening has served as an experiential learning tool as our girls themselves are planting, harvesting and maintaining the seeds. The hands-on experience that our girls get through permaculture gardening allows them to better understand where food comes from, the benefits of organic gardening, and the processes of gardening and farming.

A large part of this project is our “seed library.” Through this library, our girls will harvest and maintain both seeds and seedlings. They can then bring their skills and knowledge back to their families, thus creating true garden-to-table food options for themselves and their families. 

An example of garden-to-table success has been our use of the Moringa tree. This tree, which is native to the Dominican Republic, is hardly used in any capacity. However, it has gained newfound fame as a super food! This is great news for our girls, as they have learned how to utilize the Moringa tree leaves to make delicious, healthy Moringa-lime juice. 

Moringa juice is just one example! Our vision for the future is that our garden and our budding gardeners will provide healthy, fresh food to all of our Mariposa girls and their families. We are creating our own edible schoolyard here at Mariposa!

We are so pleased to continue to share our work with you, knowing that your support and interest are paramount to our continued success!

With gratitude,

Las Mariposas

Moringa Juice!
Moringa Juice!
Enjoying the fruits of their labor...
Enjoying the fruits of their labor...
Working!
Working!
Nov 5, 2013

The Pool at the Mariposa Center for Girls is Open!

Swimming lessons!
Swimming lessons!

Dear friends,

Because of your generosity we met our goal and the pool at The Mariposa Center for Girls is open! We've just finished our first week of summer camp and the swimming program is a big hit. In Cabarete, a small beach town where water sports rule, swimming is one of the most important skills we can teach our girls. Teaching them to swim is empowering. They can learn to surf, kitesurf, kayak, windsurf and feel more like a part of their unique community. The economy in Cabarete thrives on water sports related tourism. If a girl learns a water sport this will enable her to participate in community events and could possibly lead to gainful employment opportunities.

We've seen the impact this can have on several girls that have learned to swim through our programs over the years. We've had girls who started out being afraid of the water who are now strong swimmers and are now surfing and kite boarding. Just last week, a 15 year old named Carola was able to save her sister's life because of the swimming skills she learned at Mariposa. She saw her nine year old sister sinking to the bottom of the pool and was able to save her. She has become a hero in her family and her community and most definitely a powerful force for change!

Because of you, the Mariposa girls now have their very own pool. A place where they can learn, grow, feel safe and have fun being together. This will be an unforgettable summer for the Mariposas and it's only possible because of you.

With gratitude,

The Mariposas

Safety first!
Safety first!
Summer camp is off to a great start!
Summer camp is off to a great start!

Links:

 
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