Dear MTM Family,
Life in West Point is overwhelming at times. It's congested and lacks sanitation. There are no bathrooms. There's only one road in and out of the slum. There are no hospitals there. This is a story from Macintosh, our Program Coordinator:
On the evening of January 31, 2014, I was about to take a bath when some of the students came running to my house to tell me that Patience fell in to the fire.
I stopped whatever I was doing and rushed to Patience’s house, before getting to the house I met with some member of that community they told me that Patience was try to make food for the house that was how she fell into the fire. Within that time another person has taken her to my house, I rush back home and met this child with her face all burnt up. The family of this child knows that she had been ill with epilepsy for years, and this time she had stopped taking the medication for no reason. She had been doing the cooking for her family when she had an episode and fell into the fire.
I went to find a car to take her to the hospital. It was very difficult to find car at that hour. I managed to get a car that we used for that night and we paid the driver fifteen united states dollars to drive us to the JFK hospital.
Patience has now made one month in the JFK hospital, and she responding to treatment on a day-to-day basis. She can talk and eat, and is getting better every day.
I met Patience many years ago, she was selling bananas on the street. She's now one of our older students. She's very helpful and loving. She has epilepsy and during an episode fell into a fire stove. The photo below is her after one month of treatment; she looks so much better! We are beyond thankful that we have healthcare for the girls. Otherwise, she likely would have died. I wanted to tell you this story because YOUR DONATIONS MATTER. You are making a difference in Patience's life. Because of you, we are able to pay for Patience's treatment.
Every day, we continue to fight for the girls of West Point. This Saturday, March 8th, is International Women's Day. The Ministry of Gender chose to honor More Than Me - their focus is Mentoring for Transformation. We see our girls transforming into leaders every day. The girls are excited to take part in a day that celebrates women in Liberia. A day that celebrates perserverance and strength for girls like Patience.
Change is happening. We can feel it.
Will you make a lasting impact for more girls like Patience?
Microsoft is matching new recurring donations 100% for the first 3 months (up to $500 per donor). This is an amazing opportunity - recurring donations keep our projects growing, refining and expanding from month to month. Will you consider making a new monthly donation for these girls?
For Equality for Women and Healing for Patience,
Dear Amazing Supporters,
In the midst of another busy holiday season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on this life-changing year for our students and our organization. Without you, the More Than Me Academy would still be a dream rather than a reality.
The More Than Me Academy has been successfully educating 123 girls for half a school year. Aside from the Academy being tuition-free, we also provide two meals per day, health care, access to a computer lab, and a wide array of after school programs - ensuring that our girls are safe and off the streets for as much of the day as possible. Our dream is for every girl to have the power to decide what comes next in her life, whether that means pursuing higher education, learning a trade, starting a business, or starting a family.
Bottom line? We've seen amazing progress in each girl's life because of your generosity, but we still have a long way to go. Now's the time to show the world just how important the issue of girls education is.
Today, we are taking a stand. Our entire team (that includes you) is commited to making sure that no girl should have to self her body just to buy clean water. Will you take a stand?
TODAY ONLY, Microsoft is matching donations up to $1000 at 100%. That means you can DOUBLE your impact: $100 = $200! Share this project page with your community or make a donation today. Matching funds run out quickly, so now's the time to take action!
For a better world,
Emily and the More Than Me Team
P.S. For more regular updates, like us on Facebook!
We are excited to tell you that the More Than Me Academy opens on September 7th! We can't wait for this new adventure. The opening has come at a crucial time, as the BBC recently reported that out of 25,000 high school graduates taking the entrance exam to the University of Liberia, 100% failed. You read that right. 25,000 out of 25,000. You don’t need to be a statistics genius to know that something is desperately wrong with the education system here.
And we’re ready to take on this challenge.
One of the most important things we did to prepare for the school opening was doing a full baseline assessment of our girls, showing us strengths, needs, and grade levels. On August 17th, we gave the first assessment to our girls. This meant a lot of math and reading on a Saturday. Luckily, the girls love tests (weird, but true)!
Because of our high standards, we were expecting to do some remediation. However, the results were more surprising than we expected: none of our girls are at grade level, and many do not have skills as basic as phonemic awareness and algebraic thinking.
We’re taking an innovative approach to bring the girls up to speed as much as possible, via an intensive math and literacy intervention. This curriculum will be accompanied by the beautiful new building, international and Liberian co-teachers in every classroom, a cutting-edge aquaponics garden (thanks, Sustainability without Borders!), health and nutrition classes, an extensive after-school program, one-on-one tutoring, access to a computer lab, and so much more!
THIS WEEK ONLY, a generous supporter has donated $5,000 and challenged us to match it before the school opens! We are collecting donations through our More Than Me Girls Academy project on GlobalGiving. Help these girls have the amazing school they deserve!
Thank you for your continued support. Our girls benefit every day because you decided to live for more than just yourself. For more updates, check out our facebook page.
Everything for the girls,
The More Than Me Team
Last Saturday, we had a kickball tournament for our girls. They absolutely loved it! We had cold water and PB&J sandwiches for them thanks to donations from Exclusive Supermarket and UN Drive Supermarket in Monrovia. Our photographer Morgana really captured the fun and excitement of the day!
Our founder, Katie Meyler, was interviewed on MSNBC last Saturday on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. Melissa even promised to visit Liberia and meet the girls!
Our Liberian Teaching Fellowship program is off to an amazing start! We will have orientation in NYC June 14-16. Our fellows are super talented and we can't wait to showcase them in future updates. They are going to make big changes in Liberia this year. We can feel it!
Match Day is coming up on Wednesday, June 12th. On that day, your donation will be matched by 50% and will go toward giving these girls the ability to make choices for themselves. Will you partner with us in opening the MTM Academy doors by donating on June 12th? To give you an idea of how much school costs in Liberia, one girl can attend school for a year on $350 (That's less than a dollar a day!).
Thank you so much for your continued support! Until the next update!
- The More Than Me Team
Hello! Hello! Please enjoy the most recent updates from Liberia:
We are going to give the girls the California State placement test in the next few weeks. Last week Marleen wrapped up her last day (sniffle sniffle) at the school with a Zumba class! It was worth getting completely drenched in sweat :) The girls loved it! Otherwise, the computer class is still going on. We are in negotiations with iLab to run a computer class at their facility on a regular basis for our top ladies.
Before she left Liberia, Marleen taught the girls how to crochet! She taught them both the basics and different patterns for hats and headbands. You can't deny that the girls are really into it from the photos below! We are so thankful for Marleen's devoted service to the girls in the past year and a half. The girls will always have the skill of crocheting and so many other memories to remember her by. We'll miss you Marleen!
We're working on getting the guest house up and running for visitors and our staff. We are working on getting power from LEC. In the meantime, our staff is negotiating a deal with Anglers to get 15 amps from their generator per month. Inside white paint is done! Looks beautiful. We bought the paint from a wholesaler at a crazy cheap rate and we have about 13 buckets left over which is enough to paint the outside as well. Our brand colors in Benjamin Moore paint will be arriving on the container. We'll use those to create splashes of MTM branded color throughout the house. It's gonna look great!!
We are getting an estimate for solar panels to power the school. It's a bit expensive to setup, but will save us LOTS of money in the long run. We're excited about this project!
Our 2013 Teaching Fellowship applications are due on May 10th! We are so excited about the enthusiasm we've received so far and can't wait to choose 8 incredible candidates to spend a year in Liberia with us. Learn more here.
THANK YOU for your continued support. Through all of these little projects comes the end goal: getting more girls in school and off of the streets. We couldn't do our work without you, and we are so, so grateful for your generosity. We look forward to updating you again soon!
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