Wana's House - Orphanage in Matènwa, Haiti

Wana (Photo to the right) opened her house and life to being a caretaker and care giver to children without parents. Wana works day and night to give children the opportunity to take part in education, eat 3 meals a day and be given the love and affection they need in order for them to grow up well loved and happy. Wana is an inspiration to everyone she meets and she deserves the upmost respect and admiration for the many years of work she has done to change the lives of so many children. She is dedicated to helping children, but one women's love and affection is not enough for twenty children that need love for healthy development.



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What we can do to help

Each and every year Nauset sends between 3 and 5 students on a life changing experience to Haiti. In Haiti we students spend time at Wana's House. When we visit we bring toys and goodies to share with the children. We spend the day playing soccer and listening to them sing songs.  Below are a few projects that Nauset students wish to continue to help create and develop in order to help make the lives of these orphan children brighter and happier.

More about Wanas House

 Wana embraces all children and gives them the opportunity to shine.With the help of of generous donations from artists, musicians and supporters from the Cape Cod community, Art Matènwa distributes $600 every three months in order to help Wana pay her bills and provide for her children. "From looking at the living conditions and lack of food I truly believe that if we tried to raise $1000 every 3 months the lives of the children would be so much better." says director of Art Matènwa Ellen Lebow. To help raise money to help Wana's House please contact us through the email listed below. Thank you for your support.

Nauset Regional High School students visit the children of Wana's House.

Nutrition & Food

The event that had the most significant impact on me during my trip to Haiti was going to Wana's orphanage located in Matènwa. While visiting the orphanage, I met a young girl named Evline who I became somewhat attached to and held in my arms for a majority of our visit. Taking into consideration her height and body size, I guessed that she couldn't have been more than two years old. After asking Wana how old Evline was out of curiosity, I was shocked to find out that she was turning four years old this year. This is just one example of roughly 25 children at the orphanage who all are exhibiting the effects of having little food to eat with no nutritional value. The children living with Wana are given one meal a day that consists of bread and juice, because that is all that Wana can afford to feed them. Such malnutrition is quite apparent in many of the kids, including Evline. Looking to the future, the money that I hope to raise will go to Wana specifically for food so that these children can have more than just bread and juice. For example, adding a meal such as rice and beans to their diet would do wonders on their health and growth. In addition to raising money for food, I am planning to get in touch with a doctor who works with Doctors Without Borders to see if it would be helpful to raise money for vitamins or minerals to add to their diet. Either way, my goal is to raise enough money that would enable the children at the orphanage to have one more meal each day for a time period of at least 3 months.

-Julia Telman 2017 Haiti Trip

Photo above of Julia and Evline 

Tissues & Sanitation

From our stay in the Haitian village of Maténwa, one of our most poignant memories is our time with the children of Wana’s House. Wana is the director of this safe house for endangered or abandoned children; she offers shelter, food, and clothing to kids who would otherwise go without. In the time we spent here, my fellow visitors of Maténwa and I danced, sang, and played with the twenty children living there. Although it was immensely heartwarming to see the smiles that lit up these precious faces, it was simultaneously heartbreaking to see how undernourished they really were. Orange-tinted baby hairs and eyes are indicative of severe malnourishment, and was seen in the majority of the children. Most, if not all, of the children exhibited severe symptoms of the common cold, and the skin underneath their nose was literally being burned away because they could not blow or wipe their noses.

For this reason, I believe is it absolutely imperative that we use our resources and privileges here in the US to offer relief to these suffering children. It is by no means a way to solve every dilemma facing Wana and her mission, but tissues will provide a much needed improvement to the sanitation and health of these children and greatly reduce the spreading of germs.
Fundraising for this project will go directly to purchasing a year’s supply of tissues for Wana's House. In addition to monetary contributions, donations of tissues are also greatly appreciated.

Traveling to Haiti and experiencing the plight that these villagers suffer from on a daily basis was eye opening and compelling. So much must be done to initiate just a slightly noticeable difference, but for the children at Wana’s House, a small contribution such as tissues can make that difference!

-Isabel Pellegrini 2017 Haiti Trip

"There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved." George Sand

Childrens' Books

A major part of early childhood education is learning to read in one's native tongue. Think back to your childhood at night, would your family read you a bedtime story? Do you remember the first simple books you learned to read with? I sure do, and looking back on my childhood I loved bedtime stories, I found it a time to connect with my parents, as well as a time for imagination. Now working as a preschool teacher, I see even more the true importance of reading to children and how it helps to develop language, connect meanings to words, as well build a bond between the reader and the child. When I was at Wanna’s house I noticed there were no books, so I decided this is something that I want to help change. The intimate time for the kids listening to a story will hopefully give them a feeling of comfort and love within the orphanage. The first challenge we encounter with this project is that there are not many beginner or children's books in creole.

-Esmé Herrmann 2017 Haiti Trip

The Shoe that Grows in Maténwa, Haiti

Each year Nauset Regional High School hand picks 3 to 5 students to go to Haiti. Lisa Brown, teacher at Nauset, and Wellfleet native got together 18 years ago to work to write grants to allocate money to a little town called Matènwa, Haiti to support an active education center and a group of women artists. In Matènwa there are children in much need of a pair of shoes. We did some research and found this company Because International, that makes $15 shoes that grow. The shoes will expand as the childrens feet grow. They grow up to 5 sizes, so this will make a huge difference for children ages 4 to 9 , and 10 to 14. In April, 5 students will be taking much needed supplies and hopefully a few pairs of shoes to Matènwa. With your help we will make actual change for children and families in Haiti. Thank you so much for your donations, this $15 will make a child in Haiti  safer, and happier for at least five years. If you would like to learn more about the Haiti Project please feel free to email us below to learn more.

We have raised funds for over 50 pairs of shoes for the children of Matenwa Haiti. Thank you so much for the support and donations.

Actual picture of children trying on the Shoe that grows for the first time at Wana's House orphanage.

To learn more about The Shoe that Grows check out Because International. Click on the bag of shoes above to be redirected to their website.

Next Steps:

Supplies and Food

With the help of our Nauset Community we hope to help Ellen Lebow and the Wellfleet Community raise $1000 every three months in order to help provide more food and much needed supplies to the children at the orphanage. Due to the lack of fruit, prices are sky rocketing and Wana is unable to buy fruit to make juices so when the children are thirsty they drink water with sugar. We are so happy that Wana is doing her best to try and help these children grow. She needs more help and we believe that with the help of our Nauset Community and the efforts of our students we can work to make a difference for these children.

Mattress & Bed frame

There are about twenty kids in the orphanage, when we visited there were only two beds. These children already have limited food, but to add to the issues  the sleeping situation is clearly uncomfortable and needs to be addressed. Walking into each room in the orphanage there was only one room with a bed, most rooms were bare and empty. Our group which is made up of 8 people pooled our money to purchase three mattresses. Although money still needs to be raised for bed frames since the mattresses will last a lot longer and will be a lot more effective supported with frames. For the physical growth of these children sleep is vital and the limited bed situation needs to be an issue that is funded for and taken seriously.

Educational Supplies

From going to the orphanage we noticed how children have very unique imaginations. When we asked if they had children's books, they replied by saying yes but they cannot read them because they do not understand english. We hope to raise funds in order to purchase books that are translated in Haitian Creole as a way to promote childhood education and Imagination. If you have any ideas of how we can help make this happen please email us, only with your support will we be able to make a vast difference in their lives.