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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

Matènwa Dance Party – RSVP www.friendofmatè or 617-543-8844

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April 2015 Update

April 2015

Dear friend of Matènwa,

Our latest update is here! Please read and share the great news coming from Matènwa with friends and family. More and more trainings are happening, and more people are coming to see what’s all the buzz around our model is about.

Disaster Training and Community Empowerment
m8To increase knowledge of disaster risk and preparedness, Nickson Jean Louis, a principal in our LKM school network, facilitated a training for secondary school students and teachers. He covered how individuals can protectlapril15 2april15themselves and assist others during a natural hazard or major accident. He said that people who are injured during a disaster sometimes die because untrained rescuers lack the proper lifting and carrying techniques to safely transport them.
Sometimes, these rescuers end up causing even more damage to victims. He demonstrated how to help those injured or trapped under debris or rubble and then had participants practice several techniques of how one or two persons can carry an injured person.m7m5m4

Now, the MCLC community has been empowered to take effective action during a disaster.

3april15m3Beyond Borders, CARE, and
the Haitian Ministry of Education Visit Matènwa

Last month we had three very special groups of visitors. Beyond Borders’ Board of Directors spent three days talking with MCLC’s Direction Committee, observing the learning during various school activities, and conducting site visits at schools that we are training with their funds. Following these visits, David Diggs, the executive director of Beyond Borders, reported that one of the teachers was talking about how they were uncomfortable with the corporal punishment they used to use but didn’t have an alternative model until they observed at MCLC. “We need to find a way to apologize to our kids,” the teacher said sincerely. It was an impressive transformative shift in the teachers’ attitudes towards physical discipline. m2

Sarah Muffy, a Fulbright-Clinton fellow, whois currently working with the Haitian Ministry of Education, is researching how reading is taught in Haiti. After her classroom observations and some teacher interviews, Sarah commented, “Your teaching methods are very active, they help your students read and write very fast.”m1 She encouraged us to always remember that every student learns differently; some need to use all their senses to learn. We welcome such reminders to tailor our teaching to meet each students’ needs.

Mr. Jonès Lagrandeur, the educational inspector for Lagonav invited CARE’s National Coordinator and two other Care staff to come see MCLC because they were looking for effective ways to train teachers in non-violent education. One of the CARE staff said, “I am really happy about the work that MCLC is doing on Lagonav. Without a doubt, this type of high-quality education will help students become independent learners.” CARE now wants to develop a partnership with MCLC.

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

Cap Haitian in Northern Haiti

Teachers from this new school came for a 2 week training in early September. Funded by HHA, this is a lovely garden they now have as a result.IMAG0224







March 10, 2015

We have a garden that the kids work and learn in.
Our teachers are fabulous because they understand the Matenwa
They have class rules but are also gentle at the same time.
They plan each day ahead of time, have teacher meetings and parent
meetings regularly.FullSizeRender[12]IMG_7361IMG_5470IMG_4990IMG_4976

They definitely want to come in the summer for continuing
education/training. IMG_4915




September 30, 2014

We had our “whole school” family meeting a couple weeks ago!
We registered 51 children (ages 3-6) for Pre-K and Kindergarten. NONE (we’re in a very poor community) of the parents, guardians could read or write to complete their childs application.
It was a little chaotic as we helped them fill in the blanks. Controlled chaos.
We asked them all to return two days later so that we could explain the Matenwa methodology, uniforms, tuition etc.
At that meeting we had over 100 parents, guardians, children. As I was explaining that we would teach in Kreyol, the reasons why, introduce French as a foreign language..
One father turned to all of the Haitian adults and said “This is why none of us could fill out the application! we did not learn in Kreyol! this is good!” Everyone clapped and I ran over and gave him a big hug!
It was amazing to have the support of the the Haitian parents.

 Jimmy Val, the dad who stood up in support of learning in Kreyòl.

Jimmy Val, the dad who stood up in support of learning in Kreyòl.

Jimmy Val and Debbie


Helping Haitian Angels
Founder and Executive Director