2020 has been dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted our daily lives, compelling us to rethink our habits and priorities. It has also brought to the forefront of our attention the need for a more equal and sustainable society and revealed the interconnectivity of our world. For many children education came to a halt, with long-term implications for the future, especially for those already marginalized. We all share a commitment to the potential of each child, and we know that Montessori can provide the key to bring about change on both an individual and societal level. 


Based on our experience of the success of the last ten years of work at Corner of Hope, Kenya, we know that the highest quality Montessori education can be delivered to the most vulnerable in our society, such as displaced communities and semi-nomadic pastoralists. In May, AMI received a donation for Educateurs sans Frontières (EsF) to extend its reach to another underserved community in Northern Kenya. At a time when access to education is further challenged by the effects of the current pandemic, we are proud to be able to share the expertise gained at Corner of Hope even further. Working closely with our partners in Kenya, we identified communities in East Pokot as one of the most educationally disadvantaged in the country and we would like to work alongside them to provide the needed access to quality early years Montessori education helping them meet and overcome some of the challenges families face when living in one of the harshest living climates in Kenya. 

Throughout the month of December, we are raising funds to train members of the Pokot community in Kenya to become Montessori teachers. Skilled and motivated teachers from the local community are the key to increasing access to quality education and to breaking the cycle of poverty in the East Pokot region.

 

East Pokot

East Pokot is one of the poorest areas of Kenya, characterized by rapid population growth, weak infrastructure and low literacy rates. A large part of the population are pastoralists, who live a traditional life with limited access to  a wide variety of resources. Children have little access to quality education due to a lack of trained teachers in the region. Many children are unable to attend school or are forced to drop out. Building on our many years of learning and experience with Corner of Hope and in partnership with Montessori for Kenya, we believe we can work with community partners to train, support and empower community members to acquire the Montessori principles and skills they need to establish Montessori environments within their communities that reflect their culture, their language and their desire to give educational opportunities to their children.

 

Teacher Training 

In order to develop a community of teachers that can support each other in this remote region we are aiming to identify at least seven trainees from the Pokot community who will undertake a national Montessori Certificate course over a two-year period (one year of theory and practical learning, one year of in-service mentorship). During the training, the teachers will make their own set of Montessori materials, allowing them to set up a Montessori environment wherever they go. Through in-depth study and practical experience, the teachers will develop an excellent understanding of Montessori principles and practice. 

Funds raised will go towards providing full tuition scholarships, a set of handmade materials, living and study expenses for eligible candidates. We aim to raise US$5000 per candidate.

 

Long-term Impact 

Montessori education provides children with a foundation for lifelong learning and supports them in developing important skills such as social competence, critical thinking and reasoning. It also prepares children to be responsible to and respectful of others and their environment, which are at the core of a just and sustainable future.

 

Our fundraising campaign will be running throughout December on the GlobalGiving platform. Whatever the size of your donation, and small donations really will make a difference, we thank you for joining us in this endeavour – your help and support will truly change lives.