AMI Executive Director, Lynne Lawrence, welcomed participants to the 5th Educateurs sans Frontières (EsF) Assembly. AMI President, Philip O’Brien, then gave his introduction reminding us that Maria Montessori sought to protect quality implementation of her principles. We can go back to the child as a way forward. AMI Global Ambassador, André Roberfroid, attending his fourth EsF Assembly, gave his introduction. The previous Assembly in Thailand marked a turning point attracting many Montessorians from broader backgrounds, but what unites all EsF participants is the sense of not yet being fully satisfied in their work. Lynne then spoke on housekeeping matters and described the format of the Assembly. Participants were invited to take 30 minutes to get to know one another. Each participant then introduced one other participant to the whole group.

In the afternoon, Lynne gave a presentation on ‘Working for Social Change: the Montessori Perspective’, that included the history of EsF, as it sits with the three AMI pillars – Legacy, Capacity and Outreach. Lynne confirmed the origins of EsF, encapsulated within Montessori’s idea of The White Cross, pre-date the founding of AMI. Renilde Montessori had brought EsF to life at the first Assembly in 1999 in Citta di Castello, Italy. Lynne also demonstrated the contemporary relevance of EsF, linking its work to United Nations initiatives, such as the Incheon Declaration and the Sustainable Development Goals of 2015. She reminded us that Montessori’s vision was not cast in stone and that EsF was responsive and evolving.

Participants were then invited to join their reading groups for the first reading session. Reading groups offered the opportunity to deepen understanding of Montessori principles through dialogue in relation to a text. At the end of the first reading group session, participants came back together to share Pearls of the Day. Philip and Lynne concluded the formal part of the day. Participants were invited to join in traditional Indian outdoor games, followed by dinner.