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.