Monthly Updates from Chris and Abner
Dear Friends of Maténwa,
MCLC’s mission is not only to empower the children of Haiti, but also to encourage young adults to realize their ability to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. Being creative entrepreneurs, this roller skating club organized a two day fundraiser called SK8 FOR MATENWA, mixing fun with charitable giving.
Socios en Salud (Partners in Health) in the Dominican Republic facilitated a donation from Alcatel One Touch. The MCLC children were thrilled to get musical instruments, computers, solar batteries, an inverter, and school supplies.
Donations from Goons (somethingawful.com) continue to roll in. Many of them are students giving up a coffee run once a week to feed a student. 5 dollars buys 5 student breakfasts. This Internet forum has amazed us.
Thanks to all our supporters, you make us feel proud and energized,
Chris W. Low, Co-founder MCLC
Executive Director, Friends of Matènwa
Dear Matènwa supporters,
The year has begun with much enthusiasm as we embark on “Joining Education and Agriculture” in 11 schools. The teachers from these pilot classrooms came to Matènwa to witness how LKM teachers work with students in and out of the classroom. This learning group has begun to be led through our Reflection Circles and Education Is A Conversation: Child Rights modules.
Chris W. Low Executvie Director Friends of Matènwa
Anes Batisma Librarian Lek`øl Kominotè Matènwa (at MCLC)
Dear Friends of Matènwa,
Here are pictures of one of the 10 family vegetable gardens. This Water and Gardens Project was started in May 2011 as part of our larger agricultural program to promote vegetable gardens at homes and schools in several communities on Lagonav.
Abner writes: Good afternoon all supporters of vegetable gardens on Lagonav. It is a pleasure to show you how the gardens are reaching several corners of Lagonav. We thank you for how you have helped us with seed and money and visits to learn from other gardeners. We are now harvesting tomatoes, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach and a variety of other vegetables.
One family sold 400 gourdes worth of carrots in one day. Many people are especially motivated to make vegetable gardens this year. We believe it is thanks to your support that we are progressing with so many people on the island. Thank you for your help.
On the Arts: Ingleed Auguste gave dance classes and Owen Thomas continued his work with the advancing BGS youth music group.
Sincerely, Chris W. Low
OUR STRATEGY is empowerment rather than dependency. Many times people in need appear to those helping them as people who dont think about what is best for them. When given the space and resources to implement their own ideas parents have confidence in their own capacities and personal experiences. LKMPD believes that self-determination is the raod to dignity and success.
A quick 9 week project called Water and Gardens for 10 Families was funded by Pacific Rim Voices. Each family received 2 water drums, 2 gutters, vegetable seeds, training, kandelam plants for a 10 square meter space, and wire fencing to keep out goats and chickens until the kandelam grows to secure height and width. The gardeners talked together each wek to deepen each other’s knowledge. The completion of these gardens has ignited a desire in others to be part of this movement. We hope all of our 100 families will eventually have home vegetable gardens. The community recognizes that this gardens will diminish malnutrition in Matènwa.
LUISINE SPEAKS ABOUT THE PROJECT: I have already benefitted from my garden. We have eaten from it and sold from it. I will help some of the other families in their gardens so they can also be successful. If one of us in the group doesn’t succeed, then we all lose out.
Chris W. Low
Bonjou Friends of MCLC,
Music: Our program is really advancing now. Our friend, Owen Thomas, from the US came with a recorder and taught us how to record music. With his help we now have a CD with songs from every class. A group of youth are going to open a recording studio this summer in one of our new local art studio cottages.
Bookstore and book production room: The space is almost done. The walls are done and many of the tables have been made. Our local Mother Tongue Books will be produced and sold here. Many schools here and abroad are planning to produce books next year. We are looking to make this a global collaborative.
Annual Open Space Meeting June 23-26th: This year Millienne, Chrislène, Esther, Samila, Eligene and Tiga represented MCLC. People from all over Haiti, from different economic and educational backgrounds attend this discussion-based meeting. This year’s theme was: What tools and practices do Haitians need to become an agent of change in their communities? Our agriculture teacher, Eligene, brought pictures to illustrate how we integrate agriculture into our curriculum for all students. Those who attended his session were eager to implement this in their schools.
The computer room: The children in fourth grade are continuing to enjoy math games brought by Michel DeGraff for a pilot that we have been participating in this year to analyze what advantages there are to using computers when teaching fourth grade mathematics.
Friends, that’s a few things we have to report for this month. We hope you have enjoyed reading?
Secretary Millienne Angervil and Co-founder Chris Low