Summer is here and we are excited to update you on the success of our job skills training program for Mariposas ages 15 and up! We have been working hard to expose the girls to many career and job opportunities in the local community so that they can plan for their future. Throughout the recent school year, the 25 oldest Mariposas participated in mobile job fairs, career days and field trips throughout the community to learn about employment possibilities.
To date we have placed 10 girls in part time jobs at kite schools, coffee shops, hotels, schools, and at The Mariposa DR Foundation! In addition to specific vocational training, our girls have developed skills in areas such as work ethic, self-confidence and professionalism.
Unleash the Leader in a Girl contains community, educational and professional components to address the challenges young girls face, and improve their social and economic conditions. For boys, adolescence means independence, for girls it often means isolation as they have more household responsibilities than boys, making it harder for them to find gainful employment outside of the home. Providing girls with the tools they need to become economically empowered women is absolutely critical.
We thank you for your continued support of this project and look forward to updating you with more success stories soon!
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!