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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

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