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!