Matènwa Community Learning Center Rotating Header Image

Cap Haitian in Northern Haiti

Teachers from this new school came for a 2 week training in early September. Funded by HHA, this is a lovely garden they now have as a result.IMAG0224

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March 10, 2015

We have a garden that the kids work and learn in.
Our teachers are fabulous because they understand the Matenwa
methodology.
They have class rules but are also gentle at the same time.
They plan each day ahead of time, have teacher meetings and parent
meetings regularly.FullSizeRender[12]IMG_7361IMG_5470IMG_4990IMG_4976

They definitely want to come in the summer for continuing
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September 30, 2014

We had our “whole school” family meeting a couple weeks ago!
We registered 51 children (ages 3-6) for Pre-K and Kindergarten. NONE (we’re in a very poor community) of the parents, guardians could read or write to complete their childs application.
It was a little chaotic as we helped them fill in the blanks. Controlled chaos.
We asked them all to return two days later so that we could explain the Matenwa methodology, uniforms, tuition etc.
At that meeting we had over 100 parents, guardians, children. As I was explaining that we would teach in Kreyol, the reasons why, introduce French as a foreign language..
One father turned to all of the Haitian adults and said “This is why none of us could fill out the application! we did not learn in Kreyol! this is good!” Everyone clapped and I ran over and gave him a big hug!
It was amazing to have the support of the the Haitian parents.

 Jimmy Val, the dad who stood up in support of learning in Kreyòl.

Jimmy Val, the dad who stood up in support of learning in Kreyòl.

Jimmy Val and Debbie

Debbie

Helping Haitian Angels
Founder and Executive Director
Debbie@hhangels.org
703-298-3183

Farewells and a Party – from Anisha in LaGonave

Farewells and a Party
JANUARY 30, 2015 / ANISHAKATLURI

Ready and waiting for dinner to be served

Ready and waiting for dinner to be served

On my last night in La Gonave, the family organized a farewell party to send me off. After three weeks of living in such close quarters with this family, I am somewhat accustomed to seeing their resourcefulness in action. Still, the way they stretched their limited means and hosted such a festive party managed to take me aback!

Zaza prepared a simple but typical Haitian variation on beans and rice, in a large enough quantity to feed all the hungry mouths in the extended family. There were jugs of moonshine rum punch – strong local moonshine mixed with dashes of fresh passion fruit and orange juices. The boys borrowed a well-worn set of speakers and hooked them up to a small solar panel. Before dinner was served, everyone danced outside to traditional Haitian “kompa” music. There was even more dancing once the moon was up and we had all been fed. If my time on La Gonave has taught me anything, it’s that Haitians love to dance and are not shy about it.

Posing for the camera with Charbine, one of my loveliest kreyol “professors”

Posing for the camera with Charbine, one of my loveliest kreyol “professors”

Dimida and Luvla (both 11 years old) ready for the party

Dimida and Luvla (both 11 years old) ready for the party

Zaza’s simple dinner spread, prepared during many hours over an open fire

Zaza’s simple dinner spread, prepared during many hours over an open fire

Too early the next morning, it was time to strap my bags to the back of a motorcycle and begin the long, bumpy ride down to the port and back to the mainland. I am writing now from the bustling, frenzied, dusty mayhem of Port-au-Prince, where the peaceful living on La Gonave seems like another Haiti altogether.

March 2015 Update

March 2015

Dear friends of Matènwa,

Untitled.jpgJust as our students are always thrilled to add new plants into the school garden, we always take great pleasure in updating you on these activities each month.

One of the first steps to march2growing new vegetables is for students to prepare the seedlings. They recycle discarded materials and equipment such as old wheelbarrows to use as planters. With the assistance of the garden technicians, they planted tomato, cabbage, bean, and beet seedlings. Afterwards, they created beds to transplant the seedlings. Each of these students will be responsible for caring for a seedling and monitoring its growth. They will draw, write about, and reflect on the entire process.

Training World Vision Teachers
march5Over the years, MCLC has developed a good relationship with the PACODES schools, a group of schools supported by World Vision’s Area Development Program in Lagonav. Every year, World Vision sends a new cohort of teachers and school directors to MCLC for a week-long training. The latest group was recently trained on classroom management, class preparation, school gardening, and the use of Creole as the language of instruction. We were especially happy that march3World Vision wanted us to emphasize this last component. Their priority was for all teachers to teach first through third graders in their mother tongue, in all subjects, and expose students to French oral communication, as recommended by the Ministry of Education.

As usual, we started the training reading a chapter of Yves Dejean’s book Yon lekòl tèt anba nan yon peyi tèt anba (in English, An Upside Down School in an Upside Down Country). This book always generates great discussions and reflections. It highlights the challenges that students face when being taught in a second language that they are not fluent in.

march4Training Follow-Up at Other Partner Schools
To ensure that the partner schools in our network are applying the principles learned at the trainings effectively, a MCLC specialist visits each school at least twice a month. In addition, a group of 70 teachers and directors, representatives from each school, meet at MCLC once a month for additional training and to discuss strategies on how to address difficulties they are encountering in their classrooms. At the last meeting, some teachers felt that they needed more instruction on the process of how to create mother tongue books with their students. Others wanted to learn more about how to display their students’ work. Together, we came up with some strategies to resolve these issues. We are making great progress!

Chris W. Low, Executive Director FOM
Ezner Angervil, Director MCLC

Ayiti, ann avan!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWGw1gsGXg4&feature=youtube

This is a video album of the visit at MIT on April 17, 2013, of Haiti’s former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and his delegation for the signing of an agreement between the MIT-Haiti Initiative (http://haiti.mit.edu) and Haiti’s Ministry of National Education and Professional Development (MENFP).

Several pictures of our students in Matènwa are featured in this video! Laurent Lamothe has spoken highly about the advances in education being modeled in Matènwa.

International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day
Innovator Spotlight Webinar – February 19, 2015
Watch Now http://allchildrenreading.org/media-events/webinar-archives/
Whiz Kids Workshop presents about using media to promote and improve early grade reading in Ethiopia. Tsehai Loves Learning TV and radio program is broadcast nationally each week. The show is adapted to different mother tongue children books and reaches children in classrooms. You’ll also hear about grantee Friends of Matènwa‘s impressive early grade literacy project in Haiti that used the Mother Tongue Books methodology to help children create books they want to read.

More Photos of LaGonave from Anisha

The village of Matenwa

The village of Matenwa

Grazing goats at midday

Grazing goats at midday

The ferry boat which brought me from Port-au-Prince to the port of La Gonave, top heavy with passengers

The ferry boat which brought me from Port-au-Prince to the port of La Gonave, top heavy with passengers

Ocean bathers wading out after lunch

Ocean bathers wading out after lunch

Two chilled Prestige beers enjoyed waterfront before the long motorcycle ride back up the mountains

Two chilled Prestige beers enjoyed waterfront before the long motorcycle ride back up the mountains

Traditional and colorful plate of whole grilled fish with plantains and vegetables

Traditional and colorful plate of whole grilled fish with plantains and vegetables

Yoga “class” is in session at the Matenwa School

Yoga “class” is in session at the Matenwa School

The complete Kreyol alphabet

The complete Kreyol alphabet

Sitting in with the 2nd grade class at the Matenwa School and learning the Kreyol alphabet.

Sitting in with the 2nd grade class at the Matenwa School and learning the Kreyol alphabet.

Slim pickings at the Friday market

Slim pickings at the Friday market

Deliciously ripe mangoes, the first ones of my trip

Deliciously ripe mangoes, the first ones of my trip

Shelling mounds and mounds of raw peanuts, to be roasted and ground into fresh “mamba” or Haitian peanut butter. Everyone likes to help in the mamba-making process because it means snacking on peanuts all afternoon.

Shelling mounds and mounds of raw peanuts, to be roasted and ground into fresh “mamba” or Haitian peanut butter. Everyone likes to help in the mamba-making process because it means snacking on peanuts all afternoon.

Modis (5 years old) and John Carey (6 years old) proudly watering their favorite goat

Modis (5 years old) and John Carey (6 years old) proudly watering their favorite goat

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Showing off for the camera after yoga class

The port at Anse-a-Gale, where all boats from Port-au-Prince dock and depart

The port at Anse-a-Gale, where all boats from Port-au-Prince dock and depart

Attempting downward dog. Yoga “class” is in session at the Matenwa School

Attempting downward dog. Yoga “class” is in session at the Matenwa School

This post was written offline on January 20th and published after my return to Port-au-Prince and internet connectivity.