Thursday, November 24, 2016

How do you say THANK YOU?

Nerlinda, one of MBB'S high school Scholars in Haiti, wants to THANK YOU personally on this Thanksgiving Day:

In Kreyol:  MESI ANPIL

Nerlinda lives with her mother, step-father, brother, sister, niece and two cousins. There is no electricity but they do have a bathroom inside the house where they can take a bucket shower. She appreciates all that MBB does for her: a free academic Scholarship; weekly Computer Classes; and annual Summer Leadership Camp. "I feel so blessed and thankful," she says.  

To pay it forward, Nerlinda tutors young children one weekend per month. "As she began a lesson," says Gail Grady, MBB's Interim Director in Haiti, "I watched as Nerlinda sweetly put her arm around this young boy's shoulders and pulled him closer.  It is very natural and common in Haiti to see people walking hand in hand or arm in arm; women with women, men with men, teenage boys with teenage boys, older siblings with younger siblings. This desire for a physical connection is something I very much admire."

Nerlinda dreams of becoming a pediatrician. For now she intends to plant trees in the community of Gros Morne. In the future, when she has money, she hopes to open a free hospital to treat children who cannot otherwise afford care. 

Her message to MBB supporters is simple: "THANK YOU for this scholarship that keeps me in school. I hope you continue so that other young women in Haiti have this same chance."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Who Let That MOUSE in Here?

A group of South Sudanese artists brought Micky Mouse to St Bakhita Primary School last week. What a hit!  After receiving quick lessons in color and form, the girls dipped brushes into paint and brightened up the the walls of their school, inside and out.  The artists mentored them as the students completed 21 murals in 5 days.  And what fun it was!  Even in the midst of a war zone, we all need beauty as much as bread.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

High Fashion in South Sudan

Yes, South Sudan is riven by a violent civil war. Yes, people are distressed and displaced.  But you can't stop ART.  We all need beauty as much as bread.  

Look at John!  He may be diminutive but he's definitely spirited.  He has fashioned for himself a colorful belt of discarded bottles to decorate his ragged shorts.  Call it ingenuity. Call it performance art. Call it proof that creativity flourishes even in the worst of conditions...  Thank you, John!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What is THAT?

Every person I have met in South Sudan cares deeply about things that grow. They know all about planting and tending and weeding and harvesting. They know exactly when the rains should come, and they know hunger when the rains fail.  

Shanas, one of MBB's Scholarship alums who is now a teacher in South Sudan, came to Calif recently to meet with our Board and donors, and she was enthralled by the produce markets.  "What is that? How does it grow?  What is the taste? How do you prepare it?  Is it bitter or sweet? " Wrinkled acorn squash fascinated her.

And when she saw an apple tree, she was almost too excited to talk. "Oh, I have heard about apples, but never seen such a tree!"  

Her companion, Sr Sue Claire from St Bakhita School, was equally