OUR MONTESSORI WORK CONTINUES
OCT 2023 – Carol Guy-James
In Dakar, Senegal the first-ever Montessori teacher training program in that country has successfully completed its first-year training cycle. 17 Senegalese teachers were trained in this first cycle with the lead and oversight by one of our senior Haitian trainers who spent the academic year in Senegal for that purpose. The training was carried out at the Senegalese American Bilingual School. The Foundation prepared the environment for the Montessori preschool and supplied the materials that would allow the class to function as a Montessori preschool. The trainee teachers were able to see how a Montessori school functions, as well as complete their practical teaching internship at the school. The program will train a second promotion of teachers this year.
The school year 2022-2023 had its challenges. In Haiti the rise in gang violence made it difficult for schools in many areas to function. In Liancourt and many other communities, many residents had to leave their homes because of gang activity. Kidnapping, robberies, killings and rape have made daily life a nightmare for many.
This school year 2023-2024 is promising. According to CNN “The United Nations Security Council has greenlit the deployment of an armed multinational force to Haiti, as the Caribbean nation wrestles with rampant gang violence and political paralysis.” www.cnn.com › 2023/10/02 › americas. We will all watch closely to see if this multinational security force achieves its mission to stabilise the country. Some of our partner schools in remote areas are already opened, and we are hopeful that others would soon follow.
There are currently 5 partner schools in schools in Abengourou, Ivory Coast with a combined effective of over 400 children. One of our trainers from Haiti traveled to Abengourou to conduct a much-needed workshop on renewing Montessori materials and demonstration of proper classroom use of these materials. The Foundation will continue to support these schools.
Mali has one school in Tidanbougou that wishes to launch its first Montessori program in partnership with the Foundation. The country is in need of trained Montessori teachers so that they can open more schools. This year, 2 individuals from Mali will travel to Senegal to be trained in the Foundation’s second year training course there.