Thursday, December 31, 2015

Post-Prandial Slump?

Have you made a resolution to get off the couch and spend more time exercising in these post-holiday weeks, perhaps aiming to work off a few pumpkin-pie-induced pounds?

The girls at St Bakhita commit to exercising, too. For them, however, it’s never about shedding extra pounds.  Rather, what weighs on them is stress. Many have lived through war, witnessed (or experienced) violence, fled their villages multiple times for safety, known the pain of severe hunger, suffered the loss of family members, 

And beneath all that trauma, they bear the constant anxiety of never knowing when their relatives might show up to pull them out of school for early marriage. 

So, it’s no small thing that the 702 girls you support at St Bakhita school can stretch and race and play and laugh. They can forget their worries for a while. They can enjoy being children! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

No Magi here...

If you're looking for a contem-porary Madonna & Child, look no further. South Sudan has many. The women are beautiful, strong, resilient. They go about their daily work collecting firewood, hauling water, tilling farmland, making mud/thatch huts and cooking meals, usually with the youngest child strapped across their back -- the lucky ones get a dried gourd as umbrella against the tropical heat.

No Magi here.  No angels promising peace. Just the daily work of nurturing new life in a harsh environment. Just the joys and sorrows of being a mother. Just the most important job in the world.

This Christmas we remember and honor all mothers around the world. Mercy Beyond Borders admires your hard work, your spirit, your tenderness, your endurance. Together we form the hopeful chorus for PEACE ON EARTH.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Laundry? What laundry?

If you look very closely you will see a girl in the background pumping water and several others doing laundry....

But not these two! They're obviously focused on football (soccer) as the preferred way to spend a Saturday morning.  Judging by the joy on their faces no one is going to take that ball away... And no one should.

We take PLAY for granted. We know it's essential and normal for all children. Yet in the villages of South Sudan girls have neither time nor opportunity to play. In fact, St Bakhita Girls' School is the only place in South Sudan where I've ever seen girls playing.  Good for them! Literally.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Did I Really Look Like THAT?

In 2013 Valki Anderson (left) accompanied Sr Marilyn to Haiti as an interpreter.  While there she met many of the MBB Scholars and took some pictures.

Flash forward to today: Valki is back in Haiti, now as the full-time MBB Scholarships Coordinator. She recognized Francheline (right) and showed her the "ancient" picture of herself from two years ago.

"Mon Dieu!" Francheline squirmed and squealed. "Did I reeeally look like thaaaat???"

Thursday, December 3, 2015

An Oasis Amid Chaos for Girls in South Sudan

You know from the news about the continuing chaos throughout South Sudan. You know about the violence, the displacements, the constant uncertainty as rival militaries battle to control land and resources.

What doesn't often get into the news is the importance of school in regions torn by upheaval. School is welcome place of normalcy for children. School is safe. School is fun. School is engaging, taking their young minds away from daily problems.

St Bakhita is that haven of safety and learning for more girls than any other single place in South Sudan.  THANK YOU for supporting our 702 girls in this oasis amid chaos.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank You for Colored Pencils!

Have you ever given thanks for colored pencils? This young girl at St Bakhita School is definitely grateful for them. Can you tell how engrossed she is in the experience of creating art?  Perhaps she will be the world's next Gauguin or Picasso.  Or better yet, she could become South Sudan's first world-renowned artist.

Join me today in saying THANK YOU to all of you around the world who support Mercy Beyond Borders. You're working miracles, great and small.  You're saving girls from early marriages, enabling them to pursue careers as educators and nurses and journalists and agronomists. And you're putting colored pencils into the hands of budding artists!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

It worked!

MBB scholars at St Bakhita Secondary School stand amazed at having created light in their science class through the marvel of electricity.  Most of us in the West take electricity for granted, but its presence is more than enough to elicit "oohs" and "ahhhs" from these girls who are now deciphering its mysteries through lessons in circuitry.

On a deeper level, it is these girls themselves who promise to be the light of their young nation. MBB is not seeing any "brain drain" among its Scholars. Quite the contrary: as soon as they finish their university studies, they get jobs within South Sudan, eager to serve despite the volatile and dangerous conditions that persist.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Do You See What I See?

When a team of optometrists from Lions InSight came to Gros Morne, Haiti, with Mercy Beyond Borders this past April to conduct vision screenings for 1,000 children, most of the students who needed corrective lenses got them immediately, Several dozen others, however, needed specialized prescriptions not readily available.  Their eyeglasses arrived at the end of the summer, just in time for the opening of school.  

Do you see what I see? A girl who won't get  headaches every week from squinting. A girl who can both see the blackboard and enjoy reading books. A girl whose chances of doing well in school (and in life) have increased dramatically.  Thank you, Lions InSight. Thank you, MBB. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sign right here, please

What does it take to register women for health services in the most remote parts of South Sudan? An intrepid young nurse like Grace Layet, a graduate of Mercy Beyond Borders' scholarship program and now a practicing nurse in rural Kuron Peace Village.

Grace, sitting on the striped blanket, is enrolling women for the clinic's health outreach services. Of course, none of the women surrounding her was ever lucky enough to go to school.  None of them knows how to hold a pencil, much less sign her name. Grace walks each one through the enrollment process and patiently answers their questions. She first learned their local language (Toposa) while she volunteered for a yearlong pre-nursing internship with MBB. Now she's a full-fledged RN, back at the same place, using her skills to improve maternal/child health.  We salute you, Grace!  By your commitment to work where the need is greatest, you epitomize the MBB spirit of "paying it forward."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What does 100 look like?

If you were a 4-yr old girl learning to count at St Bakhita School in Narus, South Sudan, you wouldn't have much trouble visualizing "100."  You'd just look around the room!  That's how many pre-schoolers squeeze into each class.  Counting to 100 would be as simple as ticking off the names of all your new friends.
Pity the teacher besieged by two hundred little hands wanting her attention? No, not really. These girls are eager to learn and happy to be in school.  Sure, they're squirmy. And yes, their attention sometimes wanders. But certainly there is no place else they'd rather be!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Peanuts (but no popcorn)

The annual peanut harvest: it's a joyful community event.  Students are excused from school; everyone from young to old pitches in to pick, dry, shuck and sack the bounty.  There are no corner grocery stores in rural South Sudan, so for most families a good harvest of "groundnuts" (as they are called in Africa) means they will not starve during "the hungry months" each year.

Here we see a family in South Sudan  with MBB Scholar in the foreground working together to transfer the nuts --well, actually, legumes -- to a sack for safe storage.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

High Fives, Everybody!

Do you remember your teen years? Lots of personal changes, academic stresses, worries about fitting in with your peers....  Our MBB scholars in Haiti are not immune to such things, and so the excitement of going out-of-town to the annual Leadership Week brings welcome relief. Besides learning new skills, the Scholars have time for making new friends while having good ol' fashioned let-down-your-hair fun.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

All fur fun

No doubt about it: Manchu is a big hit wherever he goes in Haiti. He literally stole the show at MBB's annual Leadership Week in August.  Haiti, of course, has plenty of dogs--but they are mostly street dogs or guard dogs, not really pets.  Manchu's owner, Valki, is MBB's new Scholarship Coordinator in Haiti. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nature vs Nurture

Look closely and you will see ragged sandbags ringing this dry riverbank--hundreds and hundreds of sandbags that are being washed away, month after month, by torrents of water that surge with each heavy rain. 

Why do we care? Because the sandbags exist to protect St Bakhita Girls School from the relentless erosion that threatens its campus. 

If we were millionaires we'd rebuild the school on safer ground so that the power of nature could no longer erode the power of nurture in this wonderful school community which is doing so much to further girls' education.... So, if you know any millionaires who care about girls' education, please send them my way:  THANKS!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Deep, Dank Place

Outside of every classroom at St Bakhita Girls' Primary School in South Sudan you will find a strange rectangular hole, quite deep, cement-reinforced, and with rough steps leading down into the darkness. Bomb shelters, used often by the children and teachers during the long civil war that pitted North against South for decades. Bombs hit the school more than once, and one student lost her leg to shrapnel.  Though no bombs have fallen in this part of South Sudan since independence in 2011, other dangers persist.  Venomous snakes and large rats have discovered that the dark, dank spaces suit them just fine!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Let's hear YOUR ideas!

Photo by Valki Anderson

Ten Haitian women packed a small room in Gros Morne to share their dreams for MBB's newest project, a Women's Center scheduled to open there in early 2016.  In this, the second of a series of focus groups, the women freely discussed their personal and community priorities for the types of programs they want the Center to host: Literacy. Skills development. Health screenings. Business opportunities. And most of all: JOBS.

Elisa, MBB Country Director in Haiti, was kept busy scribbling notes on the blackboard!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Who's in Jamaica?

Who's the first person that comes to mind when you hear the word JAMAICA?  Maybe it's the singer Bob Marley?

or maybe it's the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt?

I'll bet you're NOT thinking about me, the Director of Mercy Beyond Borders. But Jamaica is exactly where I am this week, enjoying the warm hospitality of the island while giving some workshops to school faculties for the opening of the academic year. Lucky me!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Color Is Your House?

In South Sudan, where paper is hard to come by and colored pencils are rarer than a white rhino, the girls at St Bakhita School revel in the opportunity to draw and color and create. Their art lessons are funded by MBB's collaboration with ART IN EVERY CLASSROOM, a nonprofit in San Francisco. Look carefully: You just might be looking at the next Matisse or Picasso; or better yet, the first South Sudanese young woman to gain future fame for her masterpieces....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

No Place Like Home

Many Haitian families in the mountains keep goats, chickens, and yes, mourning doves.  This is the home of Rosi Claire in Pendu, about an hour's rough ride by moto (on the back of a motorcycle) beyond Gros Morne, along dirt trails and up and down steep ravines. The house sits atop a rocky incline. No running water or electricity or other amenities--but it can boast of a million dollar view of the surrounding countryside. Rosi Claire is happy to reside in our Scholar's Lodge in Gros Morne, since it would be nearly impossible to commute daily from this place to school.  Still, her face lights up when she gets the chance to be back here for a weekend with her mother. There's simply no place like home.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nimble Fingers

What's the first thing you do in choir practice? Warm up with voice exercises, of course. What's the first thing you do in computer keyboarding class?  Wiggle your fingers, of course!

MBB Scholar alumna Achemi Bakhita has been teaching daily computer classes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders at St Bakhita Girls Primary School in South Sudan.  The room is stiflingly hot, but the laptops are powered up and the girls eager to learn.  Each class starts with finger-wiggling joy.  Surely these are the nation's youngest computer students!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Skinny on the Loo

People who know that I travel back and forth to South Sudan will usually, eventually, circumspectly clear their throats and inquire, "What kind of, er, bathrooms are available?"  Maybe this is just an American preoccupation, but toileting does seem to crop up in these conversations more than you might imagine.  So, to save you the awkwardness of bringing it up in polite company, here's the skinny on loos in Narus, South Sudan.

The standard outhouse toilets at the Narus guest compound are cement-floored, long-drop holes. Immaculately clean by day, but swarming with frightful spiders and roaches by night.  (Plan your fluid intake accordingly.)  For those who don't take to squatting, there is one stall containing a wooden toilet seat built over the hole, complete with wooden cover. Comfie, but there is that moment of dread when lifting the cover to check for "wildlife" beneath.  

Of course, if you are not at such a lovely guest house, anything goes in the elimination department. There you have it. Any questions?

Photos by 2014 MBB volunteer Max Markusen

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good News for Haiti

MBB Scholar Isabel eyes her new best friend, Valki

MBB happily announces the addition of Valkyrie Anderson to our staff in Haiti.  Next week, Valki will assume the position of MBB Scholarships Coordinator.  (The staffer who previously held that position, Elisa Divoux, has been promoted to Country Coordinator.)
Besides a winning smile and personal warmth, Valki brings a gift for languages (French, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Spanish--plus English), 4 yrs of teaching at the high school level, a knack for photography, and experience as a court-appointed advocate for children in foster care.  

Welcome  to MBB!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wheels without Worries

Driverless cars are here!  It's true: Google is test-driving its vehicles in the city of Mtn View, CA.  Hundreds of them are navigating  around the surface streets, quietly and smoothly negotiating traffic, pedestrians, obstacles, and intersections without so much as a hiccup or a lurch.

I love seeing them because it means we are one step closer to a world where the disabled can be more independent, where the elderly can "keep their license" even after vision or reflexes fail, and where the rest of us can get where we're going with less stress. It means eliminating the congestion and accidents caused by distracted or impaired drivers.  It means being able to sit back and enjoy a good book (or a nap) while commuting. It means wheels without worries.

Google believes these cars will be commonplace in 5 years. Of course, such marvels are still worlds away for places like South Sudan (where there are only 50 miles of paved road in the entire country) and rural Haiti. But some day.....

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seaside Surprise

For sure Elisa, MBB Country Director in Haiti, has her hands full juggling MBB's growing scholarship program, its two boarding houses, daily computer classes and math tutorials, and the annual leadership camp. Lots of work with inevitable headaches! But it's also true that Haiti is a charming Caribbean island full of life and wondrous things to see and enjoy.  Here Elisa's hands are full of a seaside surprise: a transparent jellyfish she scooped out of the water during last summer's leadership camp.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Kwizin, anyone?

I know, I know: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  Nevertheless, whenever I visit our MBB programs in Haiti, I love being able to decipher at least some of the Kreyol words.  KWIZIN, of course, correlates with CUISINE which correlates with the KITCHEN in our Scholars' boarding lodge.  Credit Elisa Divoux, MBB Country Director in Haiti, with the artistic sign! And credit our House Mother Cooks with the enticing aromas and delicious meals that emerge every day from the KWIZIN for our resident Scholars.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why the fuss about girls' latrines?

These days nearly everyone recognizes the importance of girls' education for lifting families out of extreme poverty. It's trendy to brag about building libraries and schools. But what about the lowly latrine?

Thousands of teen girls in places like HAITI and SOUTH SUDAN miss school for up to a week every month. Why? For lack of latrines to take care of their sanitary needs.

Mercy Beyond Borders has funded the construction of new toilet facilities at St Gabriel All-Girls School in Gros Morne, HAITI. Here you see the cement flooring, and below, the laborer whose days of shoveling in the hot sun dug out the pit beneath.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We're Ready to Learn: So Please Stop fighting!

The women's hall in LangCok Military Encampment is ready now!  And the women are ready, too! This is the place where the women want to study literacy and numeracy, but only when violence subsides long enough in S.Sudan for classes to resume.  Inter-ethnic fighting continues to roil the country, making normal life impossible. Nearly half-a-million people have fled into neighboring countries since an attempted coup sparked the conflict in Dec 2013.  One-third of the remaining population is at severe risk of starvation in 2015, according to the UN.  

The world grows weary of this war story, but MBB will not abandon the women!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

For the Women of Gros Morne HAITI

Mercy Beyond Borders is expanding in Haiti!  We've leased this 2-story building adjacent to one of our Scholars' Boarding Lodges and are starting the slow process of transforming it into the very first WOMEN's CENTER in the region.
We know the women are excited--because they've told us!  During the summer months our staff in Haiti will convene Focus Groups to hear from the women about prioritizing programs; we'll get their advice regarding scheduling and staffing. 

We're excited, too! We're aiming for a Grand Opening in early 2016.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Following the Soldiers in S.Sudan

The men in South Sudan are fighting. Always fighting.  And where are their spouses and children? Often they accompany their husbands/fathers, moving from place to place. Here we see Sr Mary Mumu (center), under the watchful eye of armed soldiers, listening to a mom as she describes the women's plans to build (by hand) a hall where they can gather for Literacy Classes. 

Sr. Mary supervises our rural women's Literacy Classes in South Sudan. Most recently she has befriended the women at LangCok Military encampment in Lakes State. Life is not easy for these military families, but the women are determined to keep learning. MBB stands with them to make that possible.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sacks of Happiness

Thirty-one sacks of peanuts! That's almost 7,000 lbs of crunchy protein....  

Those 7,000 lbs represent a triumph for Christine, one of the women participating in Mercy Beyond Borders' micro-enterprise project in the village of Ikwotos, South Sudan.  Coupling a modest loan from MBB with plenty of back-breaking farm labor, Christine vastly improved her harvest this year. She was also able to augment the work of her own hands by buying stock from other families fleeing the region's continuing instability. She now sells her peanuts (known as "groundnuts" in Africa) to local markets and schools.

Christine demonstrates the resilience of women eager to work their way up from extreme poverty. MBB is proud to stand with her and all the other women in our micro-enterprise groups.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Raising Readers

Everyone knows how important it is to nurture children in the habit of reading.  That's hard to do in places like Haiti, where a significant portion of the population has never been to school. Books are scarce even for those lucky enough to be in school; students rarely get their hands on a book that isn't a textbook.
Mercy Beyond Borders now has its own small (but growing) lending library in one of the Boarding Lodges for our Scholars in Gros Morne, Haiti. Most of the books are in French, the language of instruction at the high school level. Novels, biographies, adventure stories, romances (favorites!).  The world is opening up for our Scholars through reading...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Got Mud?

Welcome to summer in South Sudan! Next time you are traveling and tempted to complain (not that you ever would) about tedious lines at an overcrowded airport or a nasty pothole in your otherwise nicely paved highway or a roadside restroom that isn't, shall we say, quite up to your standards, consider the challenges of moving around in South Sudan during the annual 6 month rainy season, from April to September.  Only the brave need apply.... And yes, our intrepid MBB staff continue to "make the rounds" visiting our micro-enterprise women's groups and our scholarship recipients in far-flung locales across the-country-that-has-no-functioning-infrastructure.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Oftentimes the tallest object in an African village is a termite mound.  "Mound" is actually the polite way of saying "poop." Yes, termite who live under the ground excrete a substance that dries into somehing hard and concrete-like.
Year by year, the poop pushes higher into the sky, evidence of the zillions of unseen but active insects that live below.  We humans are very very much in the minority on this planet.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Chikungunya! Say it aloud:  CHICK-uhn-GUN-yuh.  What is it? 
Quick quiz:
a) It's the latest trendy dance craze.

b) It's a tasty creole dinner recipe

c) It's a nasty mosquito-borne illness

d) It's a newly-discovered Amazonian dialect

Pat yourself on the back if you answered "c". Chikungunya is a tropical disease transmitted by the daytime bite of a mosquito. Dubbed "break-bone disease" because of the joint pain it causes, it is similar to malaria. Its symptoms are usually more severe but less long-lasting. Chikungunya appeared for the first time ever in Haiti last year, apparently via mosquitoes carried in inadvertently by visitors. All the MBB staff in Haiti suffered from it for a few days before it mercifully ebbed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Can You See What I See?

This preschooler at St Gabriel All-Girls School in Gros Morne, Haiti, is now seeing clearly for the first time in her life.  The gift of sight!  Brought by a team of volunteer optometrists and technicians from Lions In Sight, California, in partnership with Mercy Beyond Borders.  The team screened over 1,000 K-12th grade students in 2 days (in itself something of a miracle). The only disappointed kids were the ones who DIDN'T get glasses; apparently it was such a novelty that they ALL wanted a pair.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

With Your Best Foot Forward

Wherever there's a scrap of shade in South Sudan, that's where you'll find children studying, doing their best to get some relief from the searing heat.  No such thing as air conditioning, of course. Not even a cold drink (ever!).  With their backs against the hot cement and their feet sticking out into the sunshine, these girls know how lucky they are to be among the 650 students at St Bakhita Primary--the only all-girls' primary school in the nation.  MBB is proud to pay for their education.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Facing Life

You wake up before dawn in a mud hut. You trek hours for water that you carry on your head. You cut and haul firewood. You build the fire. You pound the maize. You cook for the family. You care for children and share with your neighbors. You dig (farm). If the rains come at the right time, you harvest. You bind thatch to build your house. You are treated by most men as "worth less than a cow." Yet you don't give up. You pray that the civil war will end some day. You dream about better things for your children. And all the while, you face life with a SMILE.

You, the strong women of South Sudan, amaze and inspire me!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"Where there's a wheel..."

Photo by Elisa Divoux

Yes, it must be true: "Where there's a wheel, there's a way."  (Who said that, anyway?) Surely we see evidence of it in rural Haiti, where folks fashion useful items out of bits and pieces left over from somewhere else, and where disabled persons fend creatively for themselves with determined ingenuity. Hats off to those who find a way even when life seems stacked against them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Caribbean Beauty

Most descriptions of Haiti emphasize its poverty and the devastation that has resulted from its various natural disasters. Lesser known is the stunning beauty to be found in Haiti. Think Caribbean Sea. Think palm trees and white beaches. Think juicy mangoes and mouth-watering pork griot. Think friendly people. Lively culture. Vibrant art. Steel-drum music. Think beauty!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

(Not Mr.) Moto, Anyone?

The most common mode of transportation in mountainous northern Haiti, aside from walking, is to hail a “moto.” Anyone needing a quick way to get somewhere simply flags down a passing motorcycle, hops on, and then holds on for the wild and bumpy ride along gravel trails, skidding up and down steep hillsides (“Hang on to your hat!”), dodging startled goats and the children who inevitably call out: “Blanc! Blanc!”, splashing across streams (“You don’t mind getting wet, do you?”), slipping through narrow gorges (“Watch out for the cactus on your right!”).  Trust me, it's more exciting than the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland—and all for a few gourdes (pennies).  Try it some time!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Starting Out on the Wrong Foot?

Photo by Elisa Divoux
Well, every day can't start out right... but let's hope this person's day in Haiti got better after the sun came up!  Then again, when shoes are ill-fitting hand-me-downs, maybe left and right don't matter too much. And anyway, the color makes a splendid fashion statement.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Don't Leave Home Without It

Given all the travel that fills my calendar, it was bound to happen one day:  yes, I left home last week bound for Haiti. My passport, however, stayed home, snug in my purse on the chair in our living room, exactly where I left it when I grabbed the keys and strode out the door.  20 miles later, I realized my mistake and hurriedly backtracked to retrieve purse, passport, money, etc.  I made my flight—just barely—but my luggage apparently decided to linger at SFO. So, I had to wait around in Port-au-Prince another day (two, actually) to be reunited.  This turned out to be a pleasant interlude, giving me a chance to catch up with some good friends, but alas, it shortened my visit with the MBB staff and scholars in Gros Morne (which is 4 hours by vehicle to the north of PaP).  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"I know I'm in Jail, but...."

There’s an old country-western song with the refrain, “I know I’m in jail, but what town is this?” There are days when I feel a bit like that (well, not the jail part, but definitely the where-in-the-world-am-I-today part). 

If I am hearing a Pentecostal preacher singing his heart out at 3:00a.m accompanied by roosters and braying donkeys, I must be in Gros Morne, Haiti. 

If I’m in a round mud hut with thatched roof, it’s definitely Narus, S.Sudan.  

If I’m wakened by a full-throated chorus of huge bullfrogs, it’s the rainy season in Rumbek, and they've invaded my shower room.  

If the pre-dawn call to prayer issues from a loudspeaker atop a minaret, I’m in Juba.  

And if it’s the roar of CalTrain rumbling along the railway tracks, I know I’m home sweet home in the Bay Area.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sweep Stakes

No teenagers enjoy doing chores. But when you get a group to do some volunteer work together as a team--like these MBB Scholars cleaning up the local church grounds in Gros Morne, Haiti-- suddenly it can seem like fun.

All MBB Scholars commit to doing monthly volunteer work to improve their communities is some way.  It's their way of "paying it forward" for having received an MBB Scholarship.

Not surprisingly, in places of extreme poverty like Haiti and South Sudan, volunteering is not yet a widespread practice. People are too busy just trying to stay alive and make ends meet.  MBB, however, sees volunteering as an integral component of leadership and so we require it of our Scholars. We like to make it enjoyable, too!