At the Mariposa DR Foundation part of our mission is to inspire the international community to join the global girls movement. One of the many ways we have done that is by hosting international visitors. Through their experiences and their advocacy work, the Mariposa girls demonstrate to the visitors how girls are the world’s most powerful force for change and create lasting friendships. Since traveling is not feasible amid the pandemic, we are continuing this aspect of our mission through the newly created Mariposa Virtual Volunteer Program.
The purpose of the Mariposa Virtual Volunteer Program is to continue to foster that important link of international volunteers that makes our programming so unique, giving individual support to Mariposa students virtually, while simultaneously reengaging past volunteers. As of now, 17 volunteers and 28 Mariposa girls (our complete 5th and 6th grade class) are registered to participate in the program, which will focus on our Eco-Heroe book about the ocean and the environment. The program includes two ½ hour sessions per week, per girl. We launched this unique, exciting program on International Day of the Girl 2020!
In the first few weeks we had pairings that talked about CO2 and about trees in different parts of the world, with Mariposas using their phones to show different trees in their backyards and volunteers in the US doing the same (some with beautiful fall foliage!). Volunteers shared their expert knowledge and the Mariposa girls showed patience as volunteers sometimes searched for words or expressions in Spanish. One challenge that we do face is that sometimes is just that initial step of connecting. The internet can be unstable and it means we must regularly add data to all of the girls’ phones.
We are excited to be able to continue these connections, even as we can’t be with our volunteers in person.
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