Friends of Matenwa

Posted: 5/5/2020

Position Type: Board (Unpaid)

Function: Other

Primary domain: Education

City: Cambridge

Postal code: 02138

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$0 - $1M


Mission statement:

Friends of Matènwa is organized and operated exclusively for educational

and charitable purposes that are aimed at supporting programs that offer the

Matènwa, Haiti community and, by extension, other communities of Haiti,

opportunities to improve their education, social justice, community and cultural

development, health and welfare. 

Position Details:

Job Description:


The Matènwa Community Learning Center (MCLC) has been working for over 23 years to develop an effective model for quality education in Haïti that is inclusive, equitable and respectful of children’s rights. Founded in 1996 by Chris Low and Abner Sauveur, two visionary educators, MCLC is located in mountains of La Gonâve, a rugged island off Haiti’s mainland that is home to about 120,000 people, most living in absolute poverty. MCLC has evolved to include an elementary school serving over 155 students and showcasing best practices in eight Pre-K to 6th grade classrooms; a high school serving over 170 students from Matènwa and surrounding communities in grades 7 through 13; and an Institute of Learning dedicated to promoting replication of the MCLC model in other locations while supporting ongoing innovation and quality assurance at MCLC. MCLC also supports community dialogue and resulting sustainable development initiatives – helping families improve their food security and livelihoods skills, protect their health and environment, and respond to natural disasters.  By teaching in mother-tongue in the first three grades, using child-centered non-violent methods of education, MCLC has achieved notable community and educational success,  such that 83% of its first high-school graduates passed the national baccalaureate exam, compared to a national average of only 37%.  The program’s mother-tongue books,  created by and for children, was recognized by a US Library of Congress literacy award.

In 2010, Friends of Matènwa (FoM) was founded in Cambridge, MA as a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting outreach to help Matènwa and its partner communities achieve their goals. With the founding President of the FOM Board stepping down, the Trustees are seeking new members to dynamize Board support to the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, and its ambitious goals for expansion of MCLC’s successful model of education to children across Haiti. 


The Board of Trustees  focuses on high-level decisions, direction, policy and oversight to ensure optimal functioning of the organization. It is  responsible for hiring, guiding and evaluating the Executive Director. This guidance is strategic in nature; the Board does not involve itself in

day-to-day operations. All Trustees:

  • Serve for a minimum three-year term;
  • Will be informed about and able to represent and promote the issues addressed in the work that FoM supports in Haiti;
  • Will work hard for our Mission, making time to share their skills, experience and connections;
  • Will attend three regular meetings a year, one in September/October that includes the Annual Meeting of the Corporation, one in January/February and one in May/June;
  • Attend occasional additional meetings of the Board, as needed, usually to focus on a particular, time-sensitive issue of Board concern.
  • Will travel to visit MCLC on La Gonave, Haiti, at least once in a three-year tenure;
  • Will be an active member of at least one  of the Board Committees:  Executive, Governance and Nominating, Finance and Development;
  • Make Friends of Matènwa one of their top philanthropic priorities. While there is no minimum contribution requirement, Trustees are expected to contribute generously each year and assist with fundraising initiatives or events;
  • As FOM ambassadors, to promote FoM with their friends and colleagues, sharing accurate data, bringing concerns back to the Board, and helping the Board to identify other individuals, foundation and corporations with potential for providing  strategic or financial support; and
  • Comply with FoM’s conflict of interest policy, and any other policies as they may be related to Board members


The FOM Board is seeking new Trustees who are passionate about realizing the right of every child everywhere to a quality education, grounded in local culture and history, and in the creation of a more equal world of social justice.  With MCLC having proved its model of quality education, and being poised to scaling up its methods to, ultimately, reach all schools in Haiti, the Trustee will join an FOM Board ready and eager to lends its expertise and energy to support that ambitious goal, while strengthening an institutional capacity that ensures the program’s enduring legacy for generations of Haitian children to come.  

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply;  particular areas of expertise being sought by the Board include business development, finance,  non-profit/intellectual property law and  fund-raising. Haitian ancestry or experience working/living in Haiti an advantage. 

NB Residence in Massachusetts is not a requirement for Friends of Matenwa Trustees.


Not Specified


Unpaid Board Position

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

All interested FOM Trustee candidates should send  an email explaining their interest, and summary resume to: [email protected]


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