By Aislinn Doyle - Development and Volunteer Relations Coordinator
As humanity faces unprecedented obstacles, we at the Mariposa DR Foundation are working on the ground with our families and girls. By listening to them, we can better support them in these challenging times. We are writing today to give you, our advocates and supporters, an update on how we are addressing the current situation in Cabarete.
We are assisting the more than 100 families of our Mariposas based on their specific needs. This includes:
Saving Lives by Social Distancing: Educating about the importance of social distance and modeling what that looks like. We are sharing best practices for staying healthy. Public health posters are being made by the girls and displayed on the outside of their homes.
Feeding Families: Supporting some of our highest need families by creating accounts for them at local corner stores (colmados) and grocery stores. Families have ownership on what to buy, as they know their needs best. This also will help to stimulate the devastated local economy. We are also supplying some families in high need with clean water for drinking.
Distance Learning: Offering distance learning materials and access to iPads as well as ensuring Mariposas have resources to complete distance learning offered by their schools at the elementary, high school, and university levels.
Women’s Health: This can be an especially scary time for the pregnant women in our community. We are connecting with our Mariposa graduates who are pregnant and offering them support and resources. We are also working in collaboration with CEPROSH to deliver medication to HIV+ community members in Cabarete and Sosua. We are distributing sanitary pads, soap and hand sanitizer.
Making Masks: Mariposa Upcycled Sails seamstress Maria Alexandra is making 200 masks out of old spinnaker sails to deliver to families. Additional funding will allow us to pay our second seamstress to expand the mask making and share them with the greater Cabarete community.
Nurturing the mind: We are giving the Mariposas journals to write in and lending books from our library. We will be offering virtual yoga classes when they are able to connect to the internet.
Musical Instruments: We have delivered several musical instruments to the Mariposas’ homes so they can keep practicing and for their enjoyment.
Environment: Two new environmental workbooks created by our girls “Eco - Heroes” and “Our Oceans” will be printed once printers are open again and delivered to 2,000 children in Cabarete.
Supporting our Rise Up Scholars in the US: We are extremely lucky to have three “madrinas” supporting our three Rise Up Scholars who are stuck in the US and finishing their second semester of freshman year remotely. Thank you to Sherry Herdman, Staci Darmody, and Jen Furigay for opening their hearts and their homes.
We know as a global community we face challenging times. On the day that the Mariposas can return to their schools, to the Mariposa Center for Girls, and to the ocean and the mountains, we will be ready. But the path to recovery and their future depends on the financial support and commitments we are able to secure today. Those of you who have donated this month, whether it be $10, $100, or $1,000, please know it lifts us up as we navigate uncharted waters.
We hope you all are hanging in there and we are holding you in our hearts.
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