This fall we started a new component of our empowerment program for the older girls at The Mariposa DR Foundation. All Mariposa girls ages 15 and older made bi-monthly trips to Puerto Plata, the nearest and 3rd largest city in the Dominican Republic, to learn their way around. The purpose of the trips were for the girls to obtain the necessary knowledge and navigation skills to understand where to go when presented with any special situation or circumstance, familiarize themselves with available resources, and be able to orient their families and community members to the city.
The girls visited health institutions, government offices, schools, cultural centers and more. Several places offered special workshops, speakers and mini-courses for the girls. At a free HIV/AIDS clinic they gathered information on how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. During their visit to the Court they learned about their rights and where to go in the event they are violated and need to file suit. They talked about domestic violence and had a chance to meet with female judge, Luisa Marmolejos, and ask her questions. At the secretariat for women the girls participated in vocational courses from art and jewelry making, to secretarial and hospitality training.
The girls also had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of a monument dedicated to the famous Mirabal sisters in Puerto Plata. On this occasion, they listened to a speech given about the significance of their murder on November 25th, 1960 and how these powerful women from the Dominican Republic have inspired a worldwide movement to end violence against women.
We are off to a great start in 2013 and have just moved our main offices in the Dominican Republic over to our new center! We have lots going on in the coming months so stay tuned for more updates from the field. Thank you always for your continued support.
October 11th marks the first ever International Day of the Girl. The reality is that the world is only now starting to realize that tens of millions of girls daily face poverty and discrimination, simply because they were born female. We want to thank you again for being ahead of the game, supporting the Mariposas and showing the world that our girls are a powerful force for change!
We've had a great start to the school year. Because we have received so much support this year we have been able to offer our girls entering high school scholarships to private school! This September seven Mariposas began the 9th grade at Cadin, a private Dominican highschool run by long time community leader Flavia Vidal. It is our hope that with continued support we can continue to send all of our girls to this school, increasing their chances of completing a secondary education and ending generational poverty for their families.
We are super excited to announce that we have recently acquired a large piece of property in our community to create the Mariposa Center for Girls. Over the next few months we will be putting together a capital campaign to support the development of a 5,000 square meter complex where our girls can engage in sports, academic tutoring, job training, crafts, computer classes, library access and much, much more.
We continue to be amazed by the tremendous amount of support and look forward to updating you on plans for the new center soon!
We are just five months into 2012 and already this has been an incredibly busy and successful year for The Mariposa DR Foundation. Since January we have welcomed several new members onto our executive and advisory boards, worked with over 50 international and local volunteers and teachers, hosted several student groups and service learning trips as well as strengthened our programs to effectively serve the needs of girls in the communities where we work.
July 2012 will mark our 3rd Annual Mariposa Girls Summer Leadership Program. This year we will welcome more than 20 international and local volunteers and teachers for the summer to work with 70 girls in the community. This summer we anticipate accepting 25 new girls into our program. We have many exciting things planned for our girls including theatre, art, dance, sports, field trips and more.
We have been working hard over the past few months to really develop and strengthen the sports component of our Girls Leadership Program. Sports help girls build self-confidence, develop important teamwork and goal-setting skills, and increase their capacity to learn by improving memory and concentration, giving them a leg up in the classroom. In addition to water sports this past spring we also had girls participate in volleyball, soccer, tennis, capoeira and circus!
As always we thank you for your continued support and look forward to sending another update during the summer!
2012 has started off on an excellent note for the Mariposas. This year, we are focusing on providing extensive and tailored academic support for all the girls in our program, specifically for those who are behind their grade levels in reading and math. Our volunteers are working one-on-one with many girls during the week, using flash cards, games, songs and a variety of other methods to build excitement around reading and numerical literacy.
Four of our older Mariposas are also receiving intensive job skills training to provide them with greater opportunities once they graduate from high school and look to further their education. We have one office intern who helps our Office Manager with accounting, logistics and general tasks, and three other bright, young women who are being trained in marketing, advertising and sales to help in fundraising and publicity for The Mariposa Foundation. By providing adolescent girls with specific job-skills training, they learn valuable lessons in financial independence, professionalism as they represent themselves and the Foundation and interact with community businesses and other organizations. We are very proud of our rising young entrepreneurs and expect great things from them in the future!
We recently took a group of 10 girls for their second round of dental checkups and are providing ongoing care and follow-up treatment to those who need it. Our sports program is flourishing, with more girls enrolled in tennis and soccer programs. Once a week, the Mariposas get professional coaching in tennis and soccer, with one of our younger girls almost ready to compete in national tennis tournaments!
Our third annual Girls Summer Leadership Program is fast approaching, and we are excited for another year of girls-only theatre, dance, arts, sports and academics in an encouraging, supporting and empowering environment. This year we hope to add twenty more young Dominican and Haitian girls from the community into our programs. Many of these girls will be either younger sisters or cousins of girls already enrolled in the program, thus contributing to our vision of working with families and communities in a holistic way.
All of this would not be possible without your continued support, so thank you once again, and happy Spring!
We are thrilled to announce that Mariposa won the first ever Global Giving Girl Effect Challenge!
2011 has been a year of tremendous growth at The Mariposa DR Foundation and realizing our potential is only possible with the support of thoughtful people like you.
This past fall was packed with lots of activities for the Mariposa girls including tennis, swimming, health and nutrition classes, sewing, art, dance, field trips and more!
On November 29th we took a very special field trip to Santiago to see the EVEOKE dance performance of Julia Alvarez's "In the Time of the Butterflies" - the girls enjoyed a modern dance interpretation of the famous story of the Mirabal sisters and got to meet famous author Julia Alvarez.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to all who supported Mariposa in 2011. It's been a great year.
Wishing you a warm, peaceful and very happy holiday season!
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