The Corner of Hope is a pilot initiative to show how Montessori Teacher Training and Schools can be delivered to the most vulnerable communities such as those in refugee, transit and IDP Camps.
Its aim is self-reliance not dependence, community not school. Self ownership and control, dignity and self worth which all play an important role in overcoming the effects of trauma experienced by the inhabitants of the camps. It has the added advantage of building for the future and creating transferable skills that will accompany both adults and children wherever their final destination may be. The key objective was to engage the community in all aspects of the process, from construction, making materials and teaching.
Since 2010, 86 teachers have been locally trained from the Internally Displaced Community at the 3-6 level. 27 teachers have been locally trained at the 6-12 level in the first ever elementary course in Africa, run under the guidance of Jean Miller (AMI Trainer) and mentors Eric Gumah, Eileen Spalla and Poinsy Pino (all AMI 6-12 teachers). 10 teachers were from Corner of Hope, 9 from other parts of Kenya and 8 from Tanzania.
The Corner of Hope school in New Canaan is thriving and has become a community centre. A second location has opened at a nearby location at the request of the community in Kisima. Corner of Hope has become a model for analysis and replication, demonstrating a strong foundation in community, skilled and engaged teachers and flourishing children. The next step for Corner of Hope is a new school building, at walking distance from the first school, where children from 6 to 12, and eventually up to 18, can learn in an inspiring and natural environment. The new school will be built on a large plot of land with plans for a vegetable garden where children can learn about nature and the importance of nature conservation.
Donate a tree
New land was recently acquired to expand the Corner of Hope school to provide access to more children and to gradually offereducation to children from 3 to 18 years. Funds are sought to plant trees tooffer shade, a secluded and safe space and to increase biodiversity in the areaand strengthen the children’s connection with nature. Donations can be made here.