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Unleash the Leader in a Girl

by The Mariposa DR Foundation
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl

We wanted to share our promise, la promesa, to the Mariposas as they learn to lead in their community and throughout the world.  As always, thanks so much for your support of this project and for helping to unleash the leader in a girl!

The Promise – The Offer – Our Pledge

We will provide you with an education filled with experiences to last a lifetime. On field trips and through environmental education you will see, smell, and taste things that you never dreamed existed. You will learn skills that will land you jobs and some that will become hobbies. You will play sports, dance, sing and laugh.  You will be safe in our home, because it was built to be your home, too. 

You will learn about other cultures and about your own rich culture, knowledge you can pass to your children one day when you are gown up and if you decide to have them. You will attend a private school where you will stay until you are eighteen years old. We will provide tutors and academic assistance along the way. If you are committed to going to college we will help you to get there.

You will learn languages to enable you to communicate with people from around the world.  You will serve your community and communities with people you do not know. You will march for peace, for change, and for justice for all. You will be a leader who commands respect.

We understand that if your teeth ache or your mother is ill or your siblings are hungry you may not be present, and you need to be present, both physically and mentally. Therefore we will make sure you receive health care and learn to advocate for your health and wellness. If your family needs assistance, financial or emotional, we promise we will look for resources to help them, so that they will also remain determined to help you break the cycle of poverty by receiving a quality education that was not offered to them. We recognize that you cannot do it alone, none of us ever have.  

Our wings are fashioned by many hands.  

The Know

You began your life many miles behind the starting line, and that was not fair. But this has given you a better understanding of how to be compassionate and patient and we trust you will use this compassion and patience to help others who may stumble or need the wisdom of someone who has had to overcome so many obstacles. You will remain committed and will not give up. You may get used to hearing no, but you will never accept it when it is about your well-being or your own dreams or the well-being and dreams of your community, since we don’t belong to ourselves alone.

The Ask

To achieve these goals, you must show up.  You must contribute your time and devotion.  Dream big, work hard.

You must never forget your cradle, where you came from and that you will share your knowledge and love with all that you come into contact with.

You will care for your mother earth and for your mother who birthed you as well as the many mothers and fathers who helped raise you. You will be proud and remain a reader, a problem solver, and a good communicator. You will never stop trying. You will not condone violence or discrimination in any form or intentionally hurt others. You will not judge others as we did not raise you to be judges but to be peacemakers.  You will teach others to love the earth and the sea and the air. 

You are a Mariposa. Your wings were fashioned by many hands. Use them to soar.

------------------ 

La promesa, la oferta, nuestro compromiso

Te proporcionaremos una educación llena de experiencias para toda la vida. En excursiones y a través de la educación medioambiental verás, olerás y sabrás cosas que no imaginabas que existían. Ganarás habilidades que te ayudarán a conseguir trabajo y algunas que se convertirán en pasatiempos. Jugarás deportes, bailarás, cantarás y te reirás. Estarás segura en nuestro hogar, porque fue hecho para ser el tuyo también. 

Aprenderás sobre tu propia cultura y otras, conocimiento que pasarás a tus hijos un día, si tu decides y estés lista para tenerlos. Asistirás a una escuela privada donde estudiarás hasta los dieciocho años. Te proporcionaremos tutores y ayuda académica en el camino. Si estás comprometida para ir a la universidad te ayudaremos a llegar allí. 

 Aprenderás idiomas que te permitirán comunicarte con personas de todo el mundo. Servirás a tu comunidad y a comunidades de personas que no conoces. Marcharás por la paz, por el cambio y por justicia para todos. Serás una líder que inspira respeto.  

Entendemos que si te duele un diente o tu mamá está enferma o tus hermanos tienen hambre tal vez no estarás presente, y tienes que estar presente, tanto físico como mentalmente. Por lo tanto nos aseguraremos de que recibas atención médica y aprendas a defender tu salud y bienestar. Si tu familia necesita ayuda financiara o emocional, prometemos buscar los recursos para ayudarles para que ellos también sigan determinados a ayudarte a acabar con el ciclo de pobreza a través de una educación de calidad que no les ofrecieron. Reconocemos que no lo puedes hacer sola, nadie lo ha hecho solo. 

La Comprensión

Comenzaste la vida muchas millas atrás de la línea de inicio, y eso no es justo. Pero eso te ha dado un mejor entendimiento de cómo ser compasivo y paciente y confiamos que usarás esta compasión y  paciencia para ayudar a otros que pueden tropezar o necesitar la sabiduría de alguien que hasuperado tantos obstáculos. Seguirás comprometida y no te rendirás. Tal vez te acostumbrarás a oír “no,” pero nunca lo aceptarás cuando tiene que ver con tu bienestar o tus sueños o el bienestar y sueños de tu comunidad, porque no nos pertenecemos a nosotros solos.

Lo pedido

Para alcanzar estas metas, tienes que venir. Tienes que contribuir tu tiempo y devoción. Soñar grande, trabajar duro.

Nunca debes olvidarte de tu cuna, de donde vienes, y compartirás tu conocimiento y amor con todos con quien tengas contacto. 

Cuidarás la madre tierra y la madre que te dio la luz y todos las madres y los padres que ayudaron a criarte. Serás orgullosa y serás una lectora, una buena comunicadora y solucionadora de problemas. Nunca dejarás de intentar. No condonarás ni la violencia ni la discriminación en ninguna forma ni hacerle daño a otro a propósito. No juzgarás a otros porque no te criamos para ser jueces sino pacificadores. Enseñarás a otros a amar a la tierra y el mar y el aire. 

 

Eres una Mariposa. Tus alas fueron hechas por muchas manos. Pero solo tú puedes ponértelas y volar por todo el tiempo que estés en la tierra.

 

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Detiny and her ukulele
Detiny and her ukulele

Below is written by Detiny, a Mariposa who is currently in high school and has been in our programs since she was a small girl.  Detiny is a superstar at Mariposa.  A strong leader, she has incredible academic prowess and is an amazing mentor to the younger Mariposas.  From the beginning she has been involved in the music program at the Mariposa Center for Girls and as you’ll read below, it has had a big impact on her.  We are also impressed with her strong abilities in English, her second language! It is through the generosity of donors like you that we are helping to unleash the leader in a girl.

 

As long as I can remember, music has always been by my side; no matter if I was happy, sad, or angry. I remember the songs that my father and I used to listen together before he died. It is incredible how music is not only one thing, but how it has a lot of meanings at the same time. Music is memories, moments, feelings, a way to express yourself, a way to communicate, a way to have fun, and a way of life. Music has shaped part of who I am today. It has changed my life, my social environment, and my emotions. What I am trying to say is that music is not just lyrics and sounds;  music is the most powerful force in this world!

Feelings are often very complicated, and it is sometimes difficult to explain or know what you feel in certain moments, but fortunately, we have music to help us with this. When we play an instrument, dance, or sing these are often the best ways to express those emotions that are impossible to understand. Even this paragraph would be easier to comprehend if I take my instrument and sing a song about music. Music helps me to communicate each thing that I want to scream to the world, but am unable to. With it, I can tell the world how I am thinking, what do I feel, who I am, and, most importantly, that I have a voice that can be heard. Music helps me open my whole soul, and helps me be myself. When I am on stage playing my ukulele, or  playing my piano, or dancing, I show everyone, everything that I have inside me to share. In those moments of nervousness, adrenaline, and passion, the real Detiny comes out to take possession of every single thing.

My social life also has been impacted by music. In my experience at the Mariposa DR Foundation, I have had to socialize with different people around the world, and I had learned one important thing. The best way to make friends is through music because it is that special magical thing that can connect people that don’t even speak the same language. A fun group dance, a karaoke of a famous song, or playing instruments together, (even if someone may not know how to play well). This will create unforgetting moments, unforgetting feelings, and unforgetting friends. 

At last, music has given me a place in this world! Thanks to music I can have something that makes me unique and equal at the same time. Also, I have something that represents me, and I can say that I am part of. Now, because of music, I have one more magical thing living inside me, one feeling that makes me happier; more hopeful, more joyful, more human. I am a piece of something big that connects me with each person in this world, and I am a piece of one language called music. I am part of playlists, concerts, music videos, musicians, pianists, ukulele players, and I am part of one voice. I have one power, I can be noticed, I can say “I am here”. 

In music class
In music class
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Letting their voices be heard!
Letting their voices be heard!

October 11th is International Day of the Girl Child, a day that aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. We have marked the day every year since the day was established by the UN in 2012, and it is an incredible day for the Mariposas to celebrate how far they’ve come and also share with the world the injustices they face. 

Unfortunately, like many places in the world, the Dominican Republic has a high prevalence of gender based and sexual violence.  This, combined with the worst public education system in the region, makes working towards a better future especially difficult for girls. The Dominican Republic ranks extremely high in adolescent pregnancy and child marriage in Latin America and the Caribbean, with over 40% of girls becoming teenage mothers and 36% of girls marrying before 18. The overall unemployment rate in the DR is 14%, but is 42% for young women, and women make 44% less than men for equal work. Poverty leads many girls to marry to improve their economic situation, which leaves them vulnerable to abuse and abandonment.  These statistic are ominous, but the Mariposa girls are changing the tide. 

At the Mariposa DR Foundation, we love celebrating the world’s most powerful force for change and each year on International Day of the Girl we celebrate what it means to be a young, educated and determined girl striving towards her goals!  Through film, theatrical productions, creative projects and female empowerment, Mariposas are engaged in thoughtful discussions surrounding the many challenges girls face, such as access to education, early pregnancy, and violence in their homes and community.  We are so proud of these young women for breaking down barriers to fight for their dreams! 

As we finalize our to Day of the Girl celebration preparations we wanted to take a moment to say thank you.  You believe that unleashing the leader in a girl is an important investment and we could not do it without your support.  Thank you.  And Happy International Day of the Girl!

Celebrating with music
Celebrating with music
Most powerful force for change
Most powerful force for change
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Mariposas Practicing Their Leadership Skills
Mariposas Practicing Their Leadership Skills
The Mariposa girls finished off the month of June by hosting a summer camp at the Ruth Plaut school in neighboring Los Brazos. Founded by Dr. Gideon Plaut, this school services children within this community providing schooling during the academic year, and programming and exciting camps during the hot summer months. Our girls had the opportunity to prep and design an engaging week of activities for more than 30 students. As camp counselors, our Mariposa's organized and led outdoor activities, interactive games, crafts and songs. 3 weeks of prep and planning in their leadership class paid off as the girls were phenomenal leaders and service members in their community.
For a few of our girls, this was the first time they were placed in a leadership position, and it was a welcomed learning opportunity as many girls reflected on the patience needed and satisfaction that comes with working with children. Following the camp, on the last two nights of the week our girls stayed overnight at Blue Moon Retreat and took time to reflect on their experience and bond as a group. We are so proud of this group for their efforts and the amazing camp that they put on for the children of this town. We hope that our girls will continue to be change-makers and leaders in their communities! Here's to the inaugural 2019 Ruth Plaut Mariposa Summer Camp!
Icebreakers
Icebreakers
Working as a team
Working as a team
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Viviana Interning at Cabarete Coffee Company
Viviana Interning at Cabarete Coffee Company
Viviana entered our program when she was just 10 years old. She was a love-able little girl whose parents separated and moved often, and who found herself homeless, bouncing around between homes of friends and neighbors and occasionally an abandoned plaza. 
 
Filled with mischievous energy and a smile that would melt anyone’s heart, Viviana struggled for a few years to find her calling, despite trying almost all the programming and activities that Mariposa had to offer.  But when she had the chance to act as a server to the dinner guests at our 2014 Inauguration of the Mariposa Center for Girls, she realized she loved the high-pace and the customer service aspect of the food industry. It was something she excelled at, as she was a natural multitasker.  
 
Seeing this, our Executive Director thought she would be a great asset in the Foundation's coffee shop, Cabarete Coffee. Sure enough, Viviana has taken to every single aspect of the hospitality industry. To help develop her skills she will be taking full time English lessons in the fall and can be visited all summer long as an intern at Cabarete Coffee. At Mariposa DR Foundation we are committed to unleashing the leader in a girl, whatever her goals, passions, and aspirations.  We have no doubt Viviana will be running her own restaurant one day!
Viviana doing some community service work
Viviana doing some community service work
Viviana at the Inauguration Gala
Viviana at the Inauguration Gala
Viviana working the garden
Viviana working the garden
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Organization Information

The Mariposa DR Foundation

Location: Ithaca, NY - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Jessica Lawson
Cabarete, Dominican Republic

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