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Nauset Community's Collaboration with Grassroots

Programs in Haiti 

Asosiyasyon Jenès Matènwa Pou Devlopman - Matènwa Youth Association for Development 

Nauset Regional High School - International Human Rights Academy

Linking Education, Advocacy and Community Action

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." Lilla Watson

Each year Lisa Brown, teacher at Nauset Regional High School, travels with 3 to 5 students on an educational immersion trip to a small village called Matènwa off the coast of Haiti on an island called La Gonave.  American students are invited into the homes of local artists, volunteer in the community, and learn about Haitian history.

In 2017 Lisa Brown and students worked very hard to set up the groundwork to connect Nauset Regional High School with a school group called The Matènwa Youth Association for Development, or AJMPD for short in Haiti.

AJMPD's mission is to stress the importance of education, through working with teenagers and young adults that are students at the Matènwa Community Learning Center (LKM). AJMPD also wishes to raise funds in order to help make the burden of educational expenses less of a hardship for families of students. With the help of Nauset and our surrounding communities, we hope to help as well. As well, they are working to build more community spaces to help inspire new leadership and developmental goals.


Team photo of AJMPD and Community Leaders


AJMPD: Current Work, News, and Updates

Nauset Haiti Trip ~ Update:

As the result of changing travel advisories and a lack of transportation reservations, we were unable to go to Haiti with a large student group this year. So, instead we focussed our efforts on supporting local leaders in their efforts to build infrastructure and implement sustainable practices. 

At home, we were able to fundraise and advocate for AJMPD to help them pay for the rent on an office space. Now, members of AJMPD have a solid location for community meetings and people to have a safe place they know they can go to help share their ideas and concerns. 

With the help of an external donor, we were able to help buy AJMPD a new motorcycle so that they can go to other neighboring communities to speak at schools to students and town meetings to inspire community members to take action.

Our advocacy efforts are still going and the need for small amounts of funding to help kickstart grassroots projects has grown as well. In this next upcoming year we will be working to enhance our relationship with the Art Collective of Women as we support their goals of combating oppression through supporting their art careers and ensuring that every child is protected from harm and can go to school.

We are working on helping AJMPD purchase lands that they can use to provide a space for community members to receive saplings for when natural disasters wipe out their supplies and ways of life. Hurricanes have had detrimental consequences for the people of Matènwa. It causes floods that wash away livestock and crops. Which in turn makes life evermore harder to sustain. 

"Create a Culture of Kindness"

The Matènwa Community Learning Center (LKM)

Our Mission: Friends of Matènwa supports programs that offer the Matènwa community, and by extension, other communities of Haiti, opportunities to achieve their expressed goals regarding education, social justice, community and cultural development, health and welfare goals and priorities.

Our Approach: Friends of Matènwa believes in the power of communities of people to come together to express their needs and priorities and to set a course for the betterment of their own lives. We believe that our role is to listen carefully and, where possible, to provide technical and financial help.

The Matènwa Story: The Matènwa Community Learning Center’s story begins in 1996. It is based first in the hopes and dreams of its founders and continues with the empowerment of its community.

Documentary about how The Matènwa Community Learning Center Began.

Above is a view of LKM and their sustainable, student run gardens and chicken coops.

Above is a class of 2nd graders taking part in experiential learning through no traditional desks as a way to promote active listening and respect for both student and teacher.

Above is a video about how The Matènwa Community Learning Center hopes to achieve their goals.

Nauset Human Rights Academy

The Academy exists to educate our Nauset community about human rights issues in an effort to promote a society based on empathy and social justice.



update on latest actions:

All of the projects, collaboration efforts and immersion experiences for high school students come out of the Nauset Regional High School Human Rights Academy (NHRA. Each year NHRA strives to raise awareness, advocacy and funds to be able to support collaboration efforts in Haiti. if you would like to see a brief history of NHRA check out the Human Rights tab above.

The Barnstable Human Rights Commission

The Barnstable Human Rights Commission is made up of extremely dedicated volunteers who work tirlessly to sponsor human rights events and youth advocacy events on Cape Cod

To learn more about The

Barnstable Human Rights

Commission click the logo

above to be redirected to

their website.