Montessori for Lebanon was established in 2021 and became an AMI Affiliated Society in 2022. The organisation was founded by three Montessori mothers; Maryse,Taj and Anna. They were convinced that Montessori principles and practice can foster solidarity and a sense of belonging, and that it can contribute to change in a country that is facing many challenges. Lebanon has a past of conflicts and wars, the political situation is unstable and more than 80% of the Lebanese population lives below the poverty line since 2019. The ongoing economic and financial crisis has had a devastating impact on the health sector and puts the education of many children at risk (for more information on the situation in Lebanon and the recent financial meltdown, click here and here). Maryse, Taj and Anna, are determined to increase access to Montessori education for all children in Lebanon, specifically for those in under-resourced communities. Since its establishment, the team has been working very hard, organising events and reaching out to partners and communities to raise awareness about Montessori education.
In June 2022, Montessori for Lebanon organised 10 in-person workshops with AMI 3-6 Trainer Cheryl Ferreira. The workshops set out to raise awareness on Montessori education and give people a first insight into the value and potential of Montessori principles. Workshops were organised in different parts of the country. Some workshops were hosted by schools, where teachers and parents attended the sessions. A workshop was organised for the staff of an orphanage in Sidon. Another workshop was organised in collaboration with the Lebanese Association for Scientific Research (LASER), working on education, who invited the early childhood teachers from the schools in their network. All sessions were received with great enthusiasm, 115 participants listened with a deep focus and the engaging presentations from Cheryl provoked new thoughts and ideas on education among the participants
The workshops were a first step towards building a stronger Montessori network and an infrastructure for Montessori training in Lebanon. The goal of Montessori for Lebanon is to continue to build the foundation for Montessori education in the country and more workshops are planned for 2023. The aim is to collaborate with community organisers in under-resourced communities and to offer workshops to explore possibilities for the application of Montessori principles to support children.
“Currently the education system provides schooling for our children and then ships them off to a better life abroad. Education that is embedded in the community supports children to grow up to see themselves as people who belong, and can contribute to their community. I think this is what is missing in Lebanon at the moment” – Maryse