Matènwa Community Learning Center Rotating Header Image



July 2015 Update

Dear friends of Matènwa,

Thanks to your support MCLC students and staff had a great school year. We successfully completed the national scope and sequence for ALL subjects.

Loving the Garden Till the End2J

Whereas most schools were only focused on preparing for exams during the month of June, students continued to enjoy the hands-on science and writing activities in the garden. Students had a great time caring for the garden, preparing beds and seedlings, watering and fertilizing with their own organic compost, and doing experiments. Because of their commitment, we had beautiful vegetables throughout the year. We had a lot of cabbages, tomatoes, turnips, peppers, and spinach that went into our school breakfast program to feed our students and fight malnutrition.

Rethinking Power to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls

3JA select group of MCLC staff recently participated in a two-day training offered by Beyond Borders in its Rethinking Power program. This program combats violence against women and girls and the resulting spread of HIV/AIDS, using a methodology called SASA! Sasa is a Kiswahili word that means “now,” indicating that now is the time to stop all forms of violence against women and girls, whether physical, sexual, emotional, or economic. SASA! is also an acronym for a four-phase process of behavior and social change: Start (by inviting people to discuss the topic), Awareness (by exploring the concept of power), Support (by mobilizing the community to change unequal gender norms), and Action (by working with a range of people to make the greatest impact).

This training reminded us that violence against women and girls 4Jis a serious problem everywhere. Participants recognized the need for combating it and motivating others to do the same. In that spirit, a small group of MCLC staff met with the facilitators to reflect on how to continue this training. The school selected two staff members that will complete the Rethinking Power program over two years, which includes trainings in Jacmel. After this they will be able to offer community trainings across Lagonav and be included in MCLC’s Institute for Learning.

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

Baby Training Is Taking Off

Matènwa trainers are spreading the early childhood development training that they received last month

Thanks to Zachary Lee from the Alliance For Children for bringing Laura Peterson from THRIVE to Matènwa to train 7 of our community members in her Hands to Hearts International Early Childhood Development course. Matènwa is highly motivated to spread this information across their community and then across Lagonav. They have already begun three parent groups.

They are learning about baby cues and the learning pathways

Making Happy Babies and Happier Parents

2image008 Sponsored by the Alliance for Children, these are Haiti’s first Hands to Hearts International graduates of the Early Childhood Development Training Program. Friends of Matènwa is proud to be partnering with Alliance For Children to better the lives of at risk children, starting at age 0.

Zackery Lee from The Alliance for Children Zackery Lee from The Alliance for Children[/caption]
We want to thank Zachary Lee from the Alliance For Children for bringing Laura Peterson from THRIVE to Matènwa to train 7 of our community members in her Hands to Hearts International Early Childhood Development course. Matènwa is highly motivated to spread this information across their community and then across Lagonav. They have already begun three parent groups.
3image010Francelia demonstrates how to give baby massage. Through this practice she is building social emotional trust. She is also showing parents how to read their babies’ cues.

4image011Matènwa is happy to host Alliance for Children’s trainees from Kenscoff. Here they are learning to read baby cues shown on the cards.

5image007Here are the initial trainers and trainees of Matènwa’s new program for early childhood development.

The Chicken or the Egg?


We want to thank Greater Good and all their supporters who donated a chicken to our community. Now the children of Matènwa have more protein in their diet! Every afternoon, a big tub of eggs are boiled by our high school students. As you can see, the kids are appreciative and so delighted!

June 2015 Update

Dear friends of Matènwa,

june1On May 18th, MCLC celebrated Haitian Flag Day with a great parade and many fun activities. To start the day, students proudly donned their red and blue hats and sang the national anthem at a flag-raising ceremony. They, along with their teachers and parents, later proceeded june2with an hour-long parade, joyfully walking the roads of Matènwa while singing popular patriotic hymns. This celebration always brings the community together and is a great opportunity to educate and remind people about the history and importance of the flag through songs, dance performances, plays, poetry, and speeches. Children and adults alike had a great time commemorating the 212th anniversary of the flag.

Experimenting in the Garden with Rice!

june3The 6th graders are currently studying and experimenting with rice, which is a favored staple food in Haiti, not usually grown in Lagonav. They are responsible for watering and maintaining the plants. So far, they have learned that rice is a cereal, part of the grass family that yields edible grains. They are discovering through their experiments what it takes to grow the food they eat and like.

Now offering Early Childhood Development Training! june4

From May 19th to the 25th, we received a special training by Hands to Hearts International on early childhood development (0 to 3 years old), facilitated by an organization called Alliance for Children. More than 20 people participated in the training, including 5 trainees from Kenscoff, a town about 6 miles to the southeast of Port-au-Prince. These 5 and 7 of our own then completed the training of trainers program. These 12 will be spreading this training across Haiti.

The training covered the four major pathways of early brain development: language, social and emotional, thinking, and physical development . We learned that early stimulation and positive interactions with parents and other caregivers set the stage for how children learn, grow, and act towards others. For example, simple activities such as talking, singing, reading, praying or repeating back a baby’s cooing and gurgling sounds can encourage early language development that will enable him or her to perform better in school. Through these interactions and other stimulations, children also develop their social and emotional skills. They learn how to be self-confident, manage their emotions, calm themselves, share and collaborate with others, and show kindness to others. It was also very interesting to learn that massaging a baby can have a positive effect on overall development and health. Regular massages can help babies bond with their parents, help them sleep better, alleviate constipation, and even boost their ability to fight off germs.We look forward to sharing our new knowledge with other teachers and community members in and beyond our school network. IMG_1206

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

Hands to Heart Launches in Haiti

There are now 12 HHI Trainers ready to go forth and share new knowledge, skills and love with their communities in rural Haiti. These women, and men – teachers, health workers, and orphanage caregivers – spent the last 6 days sharing, studying, practicing and creating some new materials especially for the parents and babies of their communities.IMG_1076
HHI Trainers created this song (in Creole) to reinforce the lessons they learned. It translates to:
“I am talking to you so you can learn how to talk.
I am showing you different things, so you can learn to think.
I am letting you move, so you can move by yourself.
I am treating you kindness, affection and with care.
Further away, you will see me the same and then you will learn to believe in yourself.
Trust me my baby, IMG_1084I am helping you to become strong in your body, in your brain and in your love. To become strong in your body, your brain and in your love.”
The trainers, and our colleagues from Alliance for Children Foundation and the Matènwa School, all made for a week which was not only incredibly productive and successful – but fun!
– See more at: