Things are moving along at The Mariposa Center for Girls. Since our last update we have completed the project of replacing our entire 900 square meter roof! It was a huge undertaking and the whole project took over two months and cost $25,000! Because of your generosity we were able to put a safe and beautiful roof on our new home.
Over the past few months the center has been filled with volunteers and service learning groups to help clean, paint, garden and transform our home into a beautiful sanctuary for the girls in our community. Our next project is getting our very own pool ready just in time for summer.
Swimming lessons are an essential part of our programs at The Mariposa DR Foundation. We live in a beachside town and giving girls the ability to swim builds confidence and enables them to participate in the many activities that make the Cabarete community unique. We firmly believe that for the girls of Cabarete, learning to swim is not a privilege; it is their right. Learning to swim will enable them to feel more like a part of their community, participate in water sports, and feel empowered to work for change.
The goal is to have our pool cleaned, painted and ready for swimming lessons to begin on June 24th. To help us reach our goal, advisory board member Nell Newman of Newman's Own Organics has donated a $25,000 matching challenge grant. This means that all donations for the next 60 days to The Mariposa Center for Girls will be matched by the Nell Newman Foundation at 100% up to $25,000!
We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your support. This amazing transformation is only happening because of you. We look forward to keeping you updated and hope that you will come and visit us in our new home!
In the fall we were fortunate enough to be able to purchase land to create the Mariposa Center for Girls. This January we officially moved in and are settling into our new home. Although we have a long way to go before the building is all fixed up and ready to go, the girls are thrilled to finally have their own safe space where they can learn, play, grow and be together in peace.
Saturday mornings have always been a very important time for the Mariposa girls. The girls are busy during the week with different school schedules, Mariposa extracurricular activities, family obligations and jobs. Saturday mornings are a sacred time where we can all just be together as a unified group. Every Saturday morning all of the Mariposa girls arrive at the center at 9am and start the day with a healthy breakfast of either cereal and yogurt, or eggs, fruit and bread. The girls are then broken up into smaller groups by age to participate in activites including jewelry making, art classes, pottery, theatre, games, sports, field trips and more. The girls work with many local artisans and volunteers each week and often welcome guest speakers and activity leaders.
The Mariposa Girls Group was started just three years ago with only 15 girls meeting every Saturday morning. Because of your support we have grown to include 100 girls in our many programs throughout the week. Most of the girls are involved in activities up to six days a week! Saturday mornings continue to be a special time for the Mariposas to come together as a unified group, share and reflect on the week and just have fun being girls. We thank you all for your continued support to "Unleash the Leader in a Girl" and look forward to sending you more updates from the field soon!
By Jessica Lawson - Co-Founder, Associate Director
This year is off to a very busy start at The Mariposa DR Foundation. Because of your generosity in the Girl Effect Challenge, we raised enough money to move onto our new property! The girls, their families and more than 50 local and international volunteers have been hard at work cleaning, painting, moving, making basic repairs and getting everything set up. We have moved our main offices in the Dominican Republic over to the new center and are now running our daily programs in our very own space. It feels truly amazing and the girls are thrilled!
While it's all coming together nicely, we have a long way to go. Currently our two biggest needs are replacing the roof and furnishing our kitchen/cafeteria so that we can provide consistent meals during our programs. In the next few months we will welcome several volunteer groups including Lawrence Academy from Groton, Massachusetts, to lend a helping hand in planting gardens and organizing classrooms.
Currently we are running academic tutoring, art, theatre, dance, softball, soccer and our Saturday programs at the new center. If we can raise enough funds in the next month to furnish our kitchen and replace the roof then we can work on getting our very own pool ready for swimming lessons, just in time for the summer! We are also working hard to build out our library. If you would like more information on specific ways you can help or special naming opportunities now available please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
We cannot thank you enough for your ongoing support and we look forward to an exciting 2013.