We are excited that GreaterGood.org brought themselves and The MAD Girls,The Other Side Campaign, Dream Weaver Foundation, and Affinity.is to Matènwa. Eighteen people made the trek to the island of Lagonav, Haiti. After meeting with teachers, directors, students, and families it was clear that this was just the beginning of a long relationship. Together we are planning for a revolutionary change in Haitian education. These organizations will support us to continue and expand our work in training teachers to make participatory, democratic, peaceful classrooms; make organic vegetable gardens and compost; increase access to water, improve animal husbandry; and provide education through high school.
Every one of our supporters are important to us. We are attracting help from new friends, including the Haitian Ministry of Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, but those who have been dedicated monthly or annual donors,it is you who have brought us to where we are today. Your donations are what keep the model preschool and elementary school going. You are the founders and visionaries. Without you, MCLC would never have become the magnet that it is today. We have managed to change the lives of the Matènwa community. We have begun to touch and change other eager teachers in other communities. My hope is that you all hold the dream to stop the violence in all 200+ schools on Lagonav. It is now within reach. Please continue to support Matènwa.
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,
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.
Teachers are also learning how to make lessons more concrete and hands on.
Officially Haitian schools opened in October. LKM teachers handed out materials to Parents who signed contracts to take responsibility for school books on loan to their children.
Chris W. Low Executvie Director 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 Teacher Training: this summer Connie Biewald gave a writing workshop, and Jennifer Hogan gave a mathematics workshop in our new beautiful training space
On the Arts: Ingleed Auguste gave dance classes and Owen Thomas continued his work with the advancing BGS youth music group.
We just finished a pilot project that we feel will have an essential positive impact on our community. If re-funded and expanded this project will change the face and health of several communities.
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.