Montessori schools and training centres can be found in all parts of the world. Ethiopia might be one of the countries that is less well known for its large network of Montessori schools in all parts of the country. There is one national training centre located in Wolaita Sodo, a few hours south of Addis Ababa. The Bruh Tesfa training institute was established in 1986 by the Daughters of Charity in collaboration with Muriel Dwyer and based on the national model established under the “Help the Children Projects, AMI” in Tanzania and Kenya. Around 885 Montessori teachers have trained at the centre. The centre works together with NGOs, communities, and other partners. Scholarships are provided for young women and men to follow Montessori training and the trainees are usually guaranteed a job in a school in their own community.
Bruh Tesfa also hosts a material workshop where Montessori materials are co-created with the students on the courses. Each teacher leaves the centre with a beautiful set of materials, so that they can set up a complete Montessori environment, wherever their home base may be.
Sr. Lettegabriel Abraha was one of the first trained teachers to work at Bruh Tesfa, after following AMI Montessori training at the Maria Montessori Institute in London. Her leadership as Principal of Bruh Tesfa was inspirational and after twenty years working at the institute, she relocated to the North of Ethiopia. This region is heavily impacted by conflict and resources are scarce. Despite the many challenges, she has set up a Montessori environment serving 320 internally displaced children. Conflict makes it impossible to move in and out of the region, which means that all educational resources and materials are inaccessible and there is a high need for improvisation. Despite the countless challenges, Sr. Lettegabriel is determined to offer quality education to the children, and she is using her many years of experience as a Montessori guide and teacher trainer to train teachers on-site. Through facilitating Montessori training, she hopes to reach even more children in the region, as she is convinced that Montessori supports the holistic development of children and contributes to a more peaceful environment.