Dear friends of Matènwa,
We have some exciting new developments to share with you in this latest update.
MCLC has recently created an advisory committee in Haiti to advise the school on how to best tap into resources in-country. The committee members come from different walks of life and bring a unique set of skills and knowledge with them. (Left to right) Ernso Jean-Louis is a pastor and has a business helping small businesses grow, as well as running his Eucalyptus Guest House in Port-au-Prince. Freda Catheus has collaborated with MCLC since its inception and has extensive experience working in the field in adult literacy, women and child’s rights, and micro financing. Michaelle Auguste has worked for Teacher’s College, Hunter College and the New York Board of Education in Bilingual Education. She has written child and adult literacy programs for the Haitian Ministry of Education that MCLC staff use. Steven Werlin was Dean of Shimer College in Chicago and presently works at Fonkoze, a microcredit agency, while on leave in Haiti. He has done extensive work with MCLC on how to use Reflection Circles with students and teachers and the wider community. Caroline Hudicourt runs the Acacia school in Petion-Ville, and is the executive secretary of COSPE, a consortium of private schools in Haiti. Abner Sauveur and Chris Low are the co-founders of MCLC. Louis-Henry Mars runs a non-profit and works in conflict resolution.
Meeting our students’ needs
With the addition of a 10th grade class, we needed more space to accommodate the secondary students. Therefore, we have enlarged two classrooms below the library. We also added a porch for a Pre-K and First grade breakout space. We think these three first graders look pretty happy out there. Do you agree?
Cultivating and sharing our talents
At MCLC, we nurture the extra curricular interests and talents of our students. Some are really into sports and others into music or art. We provide students the opportunity to develop their skills. In music class, the kindergarteners love to sing and dance; the first and second graders love to play the conga; many of the older students choose to play the guitar, drums, or keyboard. They all enjoy sharing what they have learned during school assemblies every Thursday. The preschoolers recently performed a dance routine at one of these assemblies and the 6th graders did a play on the importance of respecting other people’s belongings.
Using the gardens to teach and train
We work regularly in the school garden to ensure that there are enough vegetables throughout the year. Right now, we have cabbages and different types of peppers. Having a successful garden is important to us in at least three ways: 1) We always have some type of vegetables to serve the students in the school breakfast program; 2) Students can continue to do hands-on learning in the garden; and 3) We can demonstrate to the teachers who come from other schools for training how to create, maintain, and integrate a garden into their curriculum.
Spreading Across Haiti
Two groups of educators came to be trained this month for one week. Five people from the Central Plateau and Five people from Jacmel. We heard that the Director from Jacmel (center) reported to his sfunders from Community Coaltition of Haiti saying, “We are going to be the Matènwa of Jacmel!”
Learn Creole in Matènwa
Coming from New York City, Anisha just spent 3 weeks in Matènwa learning Creole before starting a new job in Port Au Prince. We will be posting her reflections soon!
Chris W. Low, Executive Director FOM
Ezner Angervil, Director MCLC