Elisante and I have been keeping busy with the wall construction, adding new staff members and planning for future projects here at MGRC. It is an exciting, yet challenging, time and I just wanted to share our priorities for this year.
Individual advancement plans
Our goal is for each of our girls to be able to sustain themselves when they leave MGRC. But getting to that point will look different for each girl. Some girls came to us in their teens having never attended school. Others have serious medical challenges. So, we are working to formalize plans that include medical, educational and vocational goals for each girl.
Staff hiring and development
We plan to add 10 staff members this year. Three new house mothers, some with degrees in nursing, have already been hired. We will be adding an Educational Director who will oversee the girls’ education and start the vocational school, including hiring 4 teachers. An Administrator has been added for employee development and management. We will also be adding a second social worker.
Many of our girls had a very late start in their education and they simply don’t have the time to go all the way through school before they are adults. And with over 25% of them turning 18 in the next few years, providing vocational training is urgent. Hiring an Educational Director and 4 teachers will be the first step towards the goal of teaching classes by the fourth quarter of this year. We will also be fundraising and starting construction of the multipurpose complex that will house the vocational school.
ecoVillage and ecoFarm projects
As we work towards the ultimate goal of the completed ecoVillage, we will continue to manage individual projects, keeping them on schedule and under budget. These projects include finishing the security wall and beginning construction of the multipurpose complex, which will house the vocational school. We will also be increasing efficiencies and adding modern techniques on the ecoFarm, such as the new milking machine. These improvements will allow us to increase the variety of foods we serve and to continue to lower food expenses.
Volunteer program development
The girls of MGRC largely come from very remote and isolated villages. This makes helping them plan for their future especially challenging. How can a girl imagine running her own store when she’s never even seen a store? We are continually trying to show them all of the paths that are available to them, which is why volunteers are so important. This year we will be working with our USA team to build an effective volunteer program with people committed to helping MGRC girls identify and achieve their goals. Ideal candidates for the program include bible teachers, academic teachers, medical workers and other professionals to help mentor and motivate the girls towards their own success.
As you can see, 2022 is shaping up to be a big year! We have a lot of work ahead of us. But I believe that with God’s help, as well as the support of our donors, sponsors and volunteers, we will continue to transform the lives of these precious girls.