Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Little Slip on a Girl

What does it take to look like a beauty queen in South Sudan?  Just a pillowslip with armholes and spaghetti straps!

Mercy Beyond Borders thanks volunteers Virginia Fisher in Oregon and Sr. Lillian Connolly (along with her sewing circle) in Iowa who have combined their talent and pillowcases over the past year to send several hundred colorful, creative, climate-appropriate dresses to the pre-schoolers at St. Bakhita Girls Primary School in South Sudan.  Wish you could see the girls dancing in their new "gowns." There's nothing like a pretty dress to make a girl feel special!

All the girls at St Bakhita Primary join MBB in wishing you a wonderful THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is She Rich?

She's putting 1,000 Uganda Shillings into the till in her small roadside shop in Nimule, South Sudan. Is she rich?  Not quite: that bill in her hand is worth only 37 cents.  You'd need 3,000 Uganda Shillings to top $1 USD.  Though she may not be rich, she's happy because, after decades of war and destitution, she is finally on her way up from extreme poverty.  Having received business training and a small loan through the Women's Micro-Enterprise program operated by Mercy Beyond Borders, she expanded her roadside kiosk and doubled her monthly income. Now she can eat every day.  Buy medicine when her children are sick. Sleep better at night. These are big changes in her life. She's on her way up!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Haitian Beauty

Many people focus on what Haiti doesn't have, such as a robust economy, education for all, or enough jobs... Mercy Beyond Borders, on the other hand, focuses on what Haiti DOES have: beautiful people, eager learners, and a vibrant culture. Even in the most modest of houses in the mountains, you will find great care taken with color and decor and you'll be welcomed with an abundance of hospitality.

Early explorers called Haiti "the pearl of the Antilles." Once you meet Haiti's women and girls, you understand why. Here's Michenata, one of MBB's 104 high school scholarship recipients, smiling from the window of her family home.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Serving Raspberry Pi?

Neither a fruit dessert nor an irrational number, RASPBERRY PI is an ingeniously compact, remarkably powerful computer that fits in the palm of a hand. When augmented by a memory chip filled with instructional lessons and paired with a laptop server, the device becomes an instant library with its own built-in  local area network that makes the content available to all the laptops in the room.

They're perfect for our MBB Scholar computer labs in South Sudan and Haiti, where internet connections are still just a dream. Once the Raspberry Pi devices are configured, MBB staff will bring them to the sites where our Scholars are clustered, so that the students can access everything from A to Z--algebra lessons to zoology.  What a boon for schools that lack books or libraries!
We thank MBB Board member, Garick Chan, for moving this project forward!