FOM Board of Directors


Sixty years ago, a small child with lively brown eyes picked up my LIFE magazine and held it upside down to “read” and look at the pictures.  Education for Haiti’s rural mountain children has been my passion since that day.  Apart from brief interludes in Haiti, my professional career focused on U.S. social policy, first working in HUD’s Model Cities Program, then leading a division of a policy research firm, and finally as President of TERC, a not-for-profit education R&D organization.  Since 2001 I have been deeply involved in, and remain an enthusiastic supporter of, Matènwa’s progress and dreams.

Founder & President Emerita
Barbara C. Sampson
Now on Sale
Chris W Low is the Executive  Director of  Friends of Matènwa and the co-founder Matènwa Community Learning Center. She received her BA in Psychology from Vassar College and M Ed from Lesley University. Chris taught in the Cambridge Massachusetts Public Schools for 9 years. She currently splits her time between Cambridge MA where she lives with her daughter, and Haiti. 
Founder & Executive Director
Chris W. Low
Throughout my 55+ year professional career, I have used my energies to be a positive force with others in eradicating poverty, serving first as a social justice activist in Appalachia, then as a human service practitioner in Nashville TN and the Boston area, and from 1995-2014 as researcher/professor/center director at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Inspired by Matènwa’s impacts in the lives of children and families on Lagonave Island and in the future throughout Haiti, I am fully committed to the Friends of Matènwa’s mission, bringing my best self to our collective endeavors.
Co- President
Donna Haig Friedman
I served as Executive Director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR), and of the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network. I am a founder of the Haitian Studies Association (HAS) and have served on the Board of the National Immigration Forum, the NY Immigration Coalition, and the Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch/Americas. I have long campaigned in favor of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Haiti, and for the rights of Haitians abroad. I have written much on these issues over the years. I consult regularly with a wide range of leaders, governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations of various ideological persuasions and interests. I was born in Haiti and reside in the United States. 
Jocelyn McCalla
Throughout my career with the United Nations Children's Fund, it was my honor and privilege to work for the promotion and protection of the rights of children, at both global and national levels, including in Guatemala, Haiti, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Few rights are more transformative than education, and I could not be more proud to support the Matènwa Community Learning Center in its mission to deliver an education, grounded in respect for Haitian culture, language and values, that prepares its students to contribute to the lives and well-being of their families, community and country. 
Elizabeth D. Gibbons
After undergraduate and graduate studies in Boston, my professional career took me first to the financial world in Tokyo, then to the international athletics world. For the past 28 years out of Boulder, Colorado, I have worked with athletes from around the world on their training and competitions, as well as representing many in their professional activities. From my experiences particularly with athletes from Kenya and Romania, I have seen the value of strong local communities and schools in economic development, and the parallels I see with the goals and achievements of MCLC are why I am excited to serve on the Friends of Matènwa Board.
Brendan Reilly

For the past few years, I have been developing my new fitness company, NouFlex LLC, with the intent of bringing needed changes to the health and fitness industry. I am doing my part to increase the US’s physically fit population. Strength is a beautiful thing, and fitness brings a lifetime of health and happiness!

Being a FoM board member lets me expand my desire to help people beyond the fitness industry, and to my home country of Haiti. Education and literacy are so connected to opportunity, and I am passionate about enabling Haitian children to have as much opportunity as possible, so that they, too, can make positive changes in their own communities and the world. I wish I had joined the FoM board sooner, and look forward to the great work we will do in Haiti.

Anel Bellevue
Friends of Matènwa’s Executive Director Chris Low and I met in 1976 in high school and we’ve been friends ever since.   Through this friendship I have been following the development of the MCLC school on Matènwa since its inception and visited MCLC on La Gonave in 2015.  It was my pleasure and honor to serve the board as Treasurer from 2015 to 2020.  Now as board member I am committed to help Friends of Matènwa serve the wonderful students and families at MCLC, La Gonave and Haiti. 
Tim R. Boysen
Krystel Armand Kanzki is an Author-Entrepreneur who was born and raised in Haiti. She started her career as an auditor for KPMG in the US then since 2011 has been running the Accounting-Finance Department of her family owned insurance company in Haiti. She launched her book series for children, La Petite Pétra, in December 2018 in Haiti. The bilingual Creole-English versions were launched in the US in November 2019. This book series has attracted the interest of many large organizations, schools, educators, foundations, and parents. She feels honored to serve on the Board of the Friends of Matènwa to contribute her skills and talent to the benefit of children in Haiti.
Krystel A. Kanzki
During my thirty years as an educator, I have worked in a variety of school settings - public, private and international. I spent the first 10 years of my career teaching elementary aged students and over time became a school leader. From 2004-2018 I was the Head of Fayerweather Street School, a PreK- 8th grade school in Cambridge, MA, with a strong commitment to social justice. During that time, I met Chris Low, the co-founder and Executive Director of MCLC and learned of the incredible work she was doing in Haiti.  Along with a group of Fayerweather teachers, we launched the Mother Tongue Book Project which to this day is thriving and now in many other schools on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. I have traveled to Matenwa three times as part of an educator exchange program where I offered teacher and administrative workshops.  As a new board member of Friends of Matenwa, I am eager to use my many years of experience as a fundraiser to help MCLC continue to thrive as leader in educational reform and innovation in Haiti.
Edward Kuh
I am co-founder and CEO of, ( the largest “click-to-give” network (including; and one of the leading resellers of equitably-sourced artisan products in the USA, including jewelry and gifts from Matènwa and Haiti.  We have supported the Matènwa Community Learning Center’s Upper School from its inception, and I have visited Lagonave numerous times; including attending the first MCLC graduation.  Over 20 years, has given over $60 million dollars to charity and paid over $50 million to artisan partners.  The staff and students of MCLC inspire me, and I am proud to be an FoM board member.
Tim Kunin
Pierre Rolex St. Louis is the CEO of Power Forward Int. In 2019, He completed entrepreneurship and business negotiations courses at MIT. He is a proud Haitian who continues to dedicate his life to impact Haitian youth and local communities through sports and education. 
Pierre Rolex St. Louis