Welcome to the Mariposa DR Foundation. Although we are a young organization, we are not an inexperienced group. I am proud to be joined by board members, volunteers, staff, community members and directors of partner projects that I have had the honor to collaborate with for many years, some for almost two decades. We share a common goal of investing in sustainable solutions to end generational poverty.
I married into a family that lives in extreme poverty. In 1992 I met my husband. I saw polio take the life of his 15-year-old cousin. I watched his 14-year-old sister recover from a miscarriage. I saw his 20-year-old sister lose one of her twins at birth and years later I saw her lose her life to kidney failure, a disease that money and access to proper health care could have cured. I a saw a hurricane take away my husband’s family’s home and their livelihood.
Since 1992 I have been passionate about alleviating extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic. I have been welcomed into many homes in this country and I have met countless Dominican and Haitian mothers who are not looking for a hand out but a hand up. These women want jobs. They want safe, healthy and educated children. These women make huge sacrifices for the livelihood of their families. Unfortunately these mothers are often not able to keep their children safe, healthy and in school because of the obstacles that keep poor people poor. Lack of access to quality health care, inability to afford the costs of education (transportation, uniforms, shoes, materials) is just a few of the barriers we must help them break down. No other segment of society on earth faces as much exploitation and injustice as poor women, except for poor girls. The good news is that there is a solution, and it’s developing into a worldwide movement.
The Girl Effect is the missing and transformative force needed to change the future of humanity. World leaders, economists, and policy makers all recognize that an adolescent girl is the most powerful force for change, yet less than 1% of international aid is invested in her.
Investing in the education, health and empowerment of a girl today means she will have the tools to make smart choices that will better the lives of her boys and girls in the future. She will reinvest 90% of her income back into her family and her community, making her the most influential figure in the today’s world.
It is time we start looking at ourselves as global citizens and recognize that everyone deserves to build a life worth living. Help us to Educate, Empower and Employ our girls. We cannot do it alone. Join us.
Patricia Thorndike Suriel
Executive Director and Founder