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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:

Mother Tongue Books Recorded

Men lyen kote ou ka jwenn liv sou odinatè: Sou iPhone, ale nan App store epi chache ak telechaje chak liv separeman. Tape “MTB Amonplojon,” apre sa “MTB Bourik itil,” epi “MTB Batiman.” Se 3 liv sa yo ki disponib pou iPhone.

May 2015 Update

May 2015

Dear friends of Matènwa,

We hope that you are enjoying springtime and even doing some gardening yourselves, just as MCLC has been doing all year-round.
The rains have finally begun after over 4 long months of drought.
If you garden or know someone who does, the students would like to share this great homemade organic pesticide recipe with you to help protect your plants. We have found it to be very effective to fight pests such as caterpillars and Mealybugs. People can still safely consume the vegetables from the garden later on. To make this pesticide, you will need a few neem and cedar leaves, a mortar and pestle, an organic soap bar, water, a recipient to mix the ingredients, and a strainer.

To start, the students use a mortar and two pestles to grind the leaves. Next, they dilute the soap in water, add the grinded leaves, and then pour the solution through a strainer into a spray container. Once students spray the plants with this solution, the insects stayed away from the garden. may2may3

Passing it Forward
may4Some of the secondary students who took weaving classes last year are now teaching their peers how to make woven chairs and baskets. The student leaders have delved into the work with great excitement. This is evident in how motivated they are to prepare the materials needed for their classes (See photo). MCLC students are learning and passing it forward!

Training and Visit Update may5
Community Coalition for Haiti sent a third group of teachers from Jacmel schools for a week-long training at MCLC. The five teachers did classroom observations and learned about our different teaching methods and principles. After the training, they felt that they had acquired enough techniques to start gardening with their students and managing their classrooms without verbal or physical punishment.

may6MCLC also received two special visits last month. FOM’s board president, Barbara Sampson, led a group of supporters to see and experience Matènwa first hand. Five people came from GreaterGood, including its CEO, Tim Kunin, who was visiting Matènwa for the second time. They were very impressed by how well spoken our 9th graders were and reiterated their commitment to help fund and promote Matènwa’s Secondary School program.

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