Mission, Vision & Inspirations
To educate and empower girls to create sustainable solutions to end generational poverty.
To create the model that can be adapted around the world for a holistic girls’ education and empowerment program to end generational poverty.
The mariposa (butterfly) is a universal symbol representing transition, freedom and peace. In the Dominican Republic, it was the code name given to our nation’s heroines, the Mirabal sisters who fought social injustice and gave their lives for freedom. The Mirabal sisters or “Las Mariposas” have become not just national heroines, but international symbols. In 1999, United Nations declared November 25th, the day of their murder, as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Our founding Honorary Chairwoman, Jacqueline Guzman Mirabal, is the daughter of Maria Teresa Mirabal and served the organization from 2009 to 2015.
Our Honorary Chairwoman, Julia Alvarez, author of “In the Time of the Butterflies” continues to inspire the Mariposa girls with her writing, activism and annual visits to the Center.
In 2012 the Mariposa girls were inspired by the story of Malala, a young girl on the other side of the world that was shot for fighting for girls’ right to education and greater opportunities, the same things the Mariposa girls wanted. Our girls then held a “Yo soy Malala” (I am Malala) fundraiser and sent all of the proceeds to a fund in her honor. This is one example of how we continue to be inspired by the international girl movement and connect our work to the work of others around the globe.
- Every year of schooling increases a girl’s earning power by 10-20%
- Less than half a cent of every development dollar goes to programs specifically for girls, particularly those ages 10-14.
- Girls make up 70% of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth.
- The Dominican Republic ranks 16 in the world for highest rate of child marriage with 41% of girls marrying by age 18 and 12% marrying by age 15.
- Education has a direct impact on reducing child marriage, as 75% of Dominican girls with some primary education marry by age 18, while only 28% of girls with secondary education or higher marry by age 18.
- The positive impact of girls’ education has been shown to transcend generations, resulting in better health outcomes among women, their children, and eventually their grandchildren.
- Women aged 15-44 are more at risk of death or disability from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.
- Nearly half of sexual assaults worldwide are against girls under 16, and girls ages 15–19 in developing countries are at a particularly high risk for physical and sexual violence.
- As of 2015, women held only 22% of parliamentary seats worldwide.
- 88% of children born in the Dominican Republic since 2001 have been born to single mothers.
- Providing girls with leadership skills and including them in the decision-making process is one of the major tools to spark economic and social change.