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July, 2010:

July Update

MCLC is evaluating itself this month as another school year comes to a close. We only had 14 preschoolers this year in our 4 year olds class. We assume that this is a sign that efforts to educate our community on children’s rights and sexual reproduction have reduced the number of births in our area. This in turn has reduced the number of Matènwa children that might have become restavèks (children that are given away to other families to work in exchange for some food, shelter, clothing, and an education but end up having their rights violated). This year Famn Kouraj intervened in defense of two restavèk children, moving them to other Matènwa families where they would not be verbally abused or physically punished.

Next fall we are opening our preschool to 3 and a half year olds and housing it at our new local arts quad, which consists of four free standing circular grass huts and one free standing music room. We are planning to rotate the children through several activities each day: music, science and gardening, storytelling, recreation, art and math, each headed up by a different specialist. This model is inspired by Child Friendly Space that we observed in an AMURT school in Port au Prince.

We are looking to recruit two volunteers: one Creole Speaking and one French Speaking to do Pre-K to 6 grade teacher training for one year. Please spread the word.

Thank you,

Chris Low
Co-director, Matènwa Community Learning Center