Peru Neighbors Serve Each Other During El Niño Flooding
Published for Water Mission
In March 2017, storms created by the effects of El Niño dumped 43 inches of rain on Peru. The coastal department of Piura, home to several Water Mission community projects, was the second most impacted area with more than 400,000 homes destroyed by flooding.
Water Mission’s safe water project in Loma Negra, a community in Piura, was commissioned in September 2016 and provides nearly 2,600 people with access to safe water. After the flooding started, Loma Negra’s SWC had their hands full trying to meet the needs in their community. Crops, animals, supplies, and houses were washed away by floods resulting from the record-breaking rainfall. The residents literally lost everything, and the flooding isolated the community with access in and out of town limited to foot traffic.
Mentors Forge New Memories with Mentees at Retreat
Published for Mercy Street
Over 50 mentors and mentees piled into cars and headed to Pine Cove Retreat! The weekend commenced with several rounds of icebreakers that left everyone giggling, followed by skits and a compelling message about conflict resolution. Mentee Alicia exclaimed, “One thing that I learned was that conflict can happen anywhere, and how to solve it!”
The patchwork that makes up a relationship consists of many different swaths, but at Mercy Street we believe shared experiences, community, and meaningful conversations are necessary in its construction. Not only does the weekend leave matches (and staff) feeling refreshed and encouraged, but it adds to the relationship’s foundation for years to come. Mentees are already chattering about next year’s retreat!
Dallas Youth Poets: The Power of a Safe Space
Tucked away in a sunny Dallas bookstore is a group of teenagers with much to say.
Like teenagers across the world, the students of Dallas Youth Poets grapple with weighty emotions such as anger, anxiety, fear, and even forms of depression. “Everyone was making me so mad and I had so many different emotions,” explains Kyhvae as she speaks of her journey to Dallas Youth Poets. “I just wanted to get it off my chest in a way that was coherent.” Khyvae, like so many other young people, is wondering: How will I be heard? Does my voice matter?
As an oft-overlooked facet of the youth creative industry, poetry is proving to be a powerful catalyst for emotional literacy. The mentorship and safe space offered by Dallas Youth Poets are equipping young people throughout the Dallas metroplex to find their voice.
Published for Mercy Street
Through beautiful, raw poetry scribbled on lined pages in a journal, Ashunti transcribes her life story. She is honest about her difficult upbringing and spends time in self-reflection. Now sixteen years old, her poetry represents the intricate narrative that she is writing for her present and her future.
“Growing up, I did not have anybody to talk to,” she laments. “I was a loner; I would stay in my room and not play with kids because I did not understand them.” With five siblings, all of whom are more than nine years older than her, it was simpler for Ashunti to fade into the background. Her father was and still is undergoing health problems, and she did not experience intimacy as a natural part of the household.
Brighter Bites: How 4,400 Dallas Families Get Their Veggies
Many Dallas communities face two obstacles when it comes to developing healthy eating habits: financial ability, and accessibility. In Dallas ISD, a staggering 87.6% of students are considered “economically disadvantaged,” meaning they are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
As proven by Dr. Sharma’s two-year study and current tri-annnual surveys, Brighter Bites’ families are exemplifying healthier habits, less added sugar, more home cooking, healthier snacking, more family meals, and smarter shopping.
Brittany Barnett: Uniting Incarcerated Mothers with Their Daughters
When Brittany Barnett was 22 years old, she witnessed her mother enter into incarceration for an underlying drug addiction. Thankfully, her mother found the strength to undergo rehabilitation and now works as a drug recovery nurse, but this is not the story for all currently-incarcerated women.
The issue of female incarceration is not without nuance. At first glance, it may raise eyebrows that Texas incarcerates more women by number than other state, that that number has grown by 908% in the last 25 years, or that 64% of these women are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. When you pull back the curtain on the lives of these women, you find a docket of issues these women face leading up to incarceration.