The House of Flowers

Location: Kabul, Afghanistan

Website:  www.mepoonline.org

Program Established: 2002

# of Children:  30     •    Ages Served:  3-18 years old

Contact Person: Allison Lide

Contact Information: mepo.hope@gmail.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Operating Funds for basics such as food, shoes, clothing, building costs, and staffing.
  2. Elementary Montessori materials.
DONATE

How To Donate

MEPO is a very efficient and lean volunteer organization, thus there are no overhead costs. Fully 100% of every donation goes to the children of the House of Flowers.Checks made out to MEPO and can be sent to :

MEPO
(c/o the Schardts)
8641 Porter Central Rd.
Sunbury, OH 43074

Questions?? If you have any questions about donations, please email MEPO volunteer Carol at cschoffmann@yahoo.com or MEPO staff at mepo.hope@gmail.com.

If you are donating from overseas and would like information about making a bank transfer, please email us.

The House of Flowers is a Montessori-based orphanage and school, a small oasis in the rough and often child-unfriendly environment of Afghanistan. It was founded by a small non-profit organization, MEPO, (Medical, Educational and Peace Organization) in 2002. Its founders, Allison Lide and Mostafa Vaziri, knew that children coming from such decimating backgrounds were most needful of the soul-strengthening effects of a Montessori environment.

They began in 2002 with 5 children, a new young teacher, and a stack of Montessori literature. Slowly they worked with the teacher and the house staff and shared with them the basic principles of Montessori education for life. It was an experiment for them all; none were sure if Montessori principles would ‘work’ in such a harsh and aggressive environment. They watched carefully as the number of children and the teacher’s understanding grew. The children began to thrive and the teacher marveled.

Read More

Less than a year later, Allison traveled to Bergamo, Italy and studied under Baiba Krumins and the late Camillo Grazzini. (He passed away during that year.) She received her AMI Elementary Montessori certification and in 2004 returned to Kabul to continue to strengthen the House of Flowers.

Since that time, she has worked closely with the staff and teachers in training them in the use of Montessori materials and techniques, telling the cosmic fables and encouraging independent learners. Sharing the psychological principles of child development has also been crucial for maintaining a consistent and supportive environment for the children.

In May 2012, the House of Flowers has 30 children ages 3 to 18, and two teachers. They conduct two multiage classes daily and use Montessori materials that have been sent by generous donors. Visitors who come to the House are amazed at the children’s confidence, their level of knowledge and awareness of the world, and their respectful and joyful behavior. Our experiment has proven itself: we have not a single doubt in the power of the Montessori philosophy to provide children exactly what they need to become strong and clear individuals. The inner strength they have gained will be an absolute necessity in their futures, which are uncertain and unpredictable.

Work at the House of Flowers by Allison and Mostafa and the staff continues as the children grow and progress through the second plane of development. At this crucial stage, much energy is devoted to the children’s exploration of humanity, and the results of this are evident daily as the children become more and more compassionate and caring about the world around them, something desperately needed today.

Allison and Mostafa are also hoping to expand this vision of Montessori schools in Afghanistan with a goal of establishing Montessori classes in the large city orphanages in Kabul. Children there desperately need the inner strengthening that can happen so powerfully in a Montessori environment, and the teachers will also benefit greatly from hearing a new perspective on children’s lives.

Updates on the Facebook page and on the website where you can sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter, http://www.facebook.com/houseofflowersorphanage.

Khom Loy Montessori Programme

Location: Chiang Rai, Thailand

Website:  www.khomloy.org | Take a look at this new Video.

Program Established: May 2004

# of Children:  600+     •    Ages Served:  4-6 years old

Contact Person: Paul Hancock

Contact Information: pmchancock@gmail.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Donations to support the costs of teacher trainers.
  2. Funds to convert child care centres to Montessori
    classrooms.
  3. Donations to purchase materials.
  4. Used materials in good condition.
  5. Trained Montessori volunteers.

Volunteer Support: Yes

DONATE

Paul Hancock and Patricia Solar started the Khom Loy project in 2002. They created the Khom Loy Development Foundation to work with the Burmese refugee and ethnic minority hilltribes of Northern Thailand to find innovative ways of dealing with social deprivation. From 2004-2015, they converted over 70 preschool rooms (providing education to about 1,800 pupils annually) in villages and remote communities into simple Montessori-based classrooms. They work only with existing schools with teachers and building already funded, so that KLDF’s contribution goes directly into improving the quality of the education.

Their programme provides low-cost Montessori equipment made by local craftsmen and the teachers themselves. Daily living materials use local objects such as chopsticks and beads. KLDF’s trainers (local teachers who have been trained by Montessori-qualified visiting instructors) provide a short introduction to Montessori classroom management, and then spend up to 10 months working in the classroom alongside the newly trained teachers to provide hands-on instruction. After this period, a teacher is able to manage a classroom without supervision, although KLDF offers further courses twice a year.

KLDF’s activities in Thailand now consist mainly of support for the established base of converted schools. In 2014, KLDF started a pilot project in Mawlamyine, Myanmar, and its new classroom conversion activities are now concentrated there. So far 2 schools have been converted and a further 4 will commence conversion in June 2017.

Yoezerling School

Location: Paro, Bhutan

Website:  www.michaelolaf.net/bhutan.html

Program Established: 2006

# of Children:  15     •    Ages Served:  3-4 years old

Contact Person: Dendy Yomo and Lhamo Pemba

Contact Information: dendyomo@hotmail.com, lhamopemba@hotmail.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Funding to send teachers to Chennai, India to receive the AMI Montessori training.
  2. Donations to purchase materials.
DONATE

How To Donate

Please contact Dendy or Lhamo.

Yoezerling School in Paro, Bhutan was started in 2006 and began as a traditional school with just a few Montessori materials. Dendy, the head teacher was sponsored to go to Thailand for four training sessions over a two and a half year period and completed an extremely challenging course to earn the highly respected AMI diploma. In Bhutan the country follows a policy of GNH “Gross National Happiness” rather than GNP “Gross National Product”. Every day school begins with a pledge of allegiance and morning prayers. The Yoezerling School is becoming a model Montessori program for the young children of Paro.

In the spring of 2010, Susan Stephenson and her daughter, Narda Sherman travelled to Bhutan from the USA for two weeks to help complete the transition from a traditional to an authentic Montessori classroom. They drew plans for tables, stools and cupboards, made aprons out of old school uniforms, scrubbed, sanded and repainted the few old Montessori materials they could find, and gave the woodworker plans for creating others, such as the wooden parts of the dressing frames, and red rods. The family, friends, even neighbors all chipped in.

Read More

The floor mats, which define a child’s working space in a Montessori classroom, were woven by Tibetans. The line for learning to walk carefully is made of green tape. The child’s broom was made just like an adult broom, only child size. To make the Montessori dressing frames a wonderful local woodworker made the frame, then Narda bought and cut out beautiful Bhutanese fabrics. Future dressing frames will reflect the kinds of fastening skills needed by children in Bhutan.

The room is tiny, 10 feet by 19 feet, and some of that is of course taken up by shelves. The entrance area is 6 feet by 6 feet. 15 children from just 3 to almost 4 years of age, are in this beginning class. The children first gathered in the entrance with Dendy or her assistant to sing, and one at a time were invited into the classroom, to choose either a floor mat or table mat and shown how to unfold or unroll it, then invited to choose from the shelf of link-with-the-home toys. Soon they were ready for practical life and language work, and there is much to come. We hope you will feel inspired to support this program financially so that more young children in Bhutan can benefit from a Montessori education and that the classroom can have a full complement of materials.

TCV: Tibetan Children’s Villages

Location: Dharamsala, India

Website:  www.michaelolaf.net/motcvproject.html

Program Established: 1960

# of Children:  300     •    Ages Served:  3-7 years old

Contact Person: Thupten Tsering and Lhamo Pemba

Contact Information: thuptend@gmail.com, lhamopemba@hotmail.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Sponsor a child at US$50 per month
  2. Send donations towards the following projects:
    1. School Improvement
    2. Medical Fund
    3. General Fund – to be used where the need is the greatest
  3. Send used warm clothing for both children and adults.
  4. Sensorial Materials – particularly binomial and trinomial cubes, globes and puzzle maps.
  5. Language Materials – pictures for phonetic words and phonograms.

For information on how to send donations, click here.

Village Life

From the beginning, the philosophy of care in the Tibetan Children’s Village homes has been to provide a loving, nurturing environment as close to that of a natural family as possible. Family groups, called Khimtsang, are cared for by foster parents, who raise the children as brothers and sisters. They share in the household chores; and the older children are encouraged to help the younger ones.

School

The TCV schools have a dual responsibility to their children. They must provide a complete modern education, to equip the students with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century. But just as importantly they must teach the children to appreciate who they are and understand the rich cultural heritage of Tibet. It is crucially important that the children understand the history of their country, including its tragic recent past, in order to share the dreams of the Tibetan exile community as a whole, and one day take up their own role in a new free Tibet.The school curriculum follows that of the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, which is the regional examining board for the state of India. TCV follows the Indian educational system, but tailors its program to suit the requirements of children from varied backgrounds, with varying needs. The emphasis is placed on the abilities of each child, with the objective of providing the best education in each individual case. Some eventually receive vocational training, to help provide them with the skills to find meaningful work, while those with the necessary academic aptitude are helped to prepare for university. In accordance with the policy of the Government of India and UNESCO, Tibetan children are provided an education in Tibetan.

Read More

TCV schools have adopted the Montessori teaching methodology, which emphasizes the inner development of children, as opposed to the traditional approach. The Montessori approach places children in a classroom environment which is designed to encourage their natural curiosity and innate desire to learn. TCV has taken this philosophy and adapted it to suit the specific needs of their children. School doesn’t end with childhood: in keeping with the philosophy of wholistic education, TCV operates a Mothers Training Centre, which offers a four month course covering everything from basic language skills to child psychology, health, and hygiene to such necessary basic skills as how to operate a gas stove.

Sponsorship

The lion’s share of the funding received by TCV comes from SOS Kinderdorf International and, to a lesser extent, other aid organizations. The Tibetan exile community’s contribution is growing in proportion to the means available to its members. The goal is for TCV and, in a broader sense, the exile community to eventually become financially self-reliant; and, to that end, a number of ventures have been initiated, such as handicraft centres, to generate revenue. A relatively small but significant percentage of funding comes from direct sponsorship by individuals. This benefits TCV, but it also provides a valuable opportunity for people around the world to establish a direct, personal relationship with a Tibetan child. They are able to exchange letters, and send small gifts. The sponsorship money is used for the benefit of all the children, so that there are no inequities created between children with sponsors and those without. Information about sponsoring a child can be obtained by contacting TCV directly, or through The Tibet Fund.

Shishu Shorgho Montessori School

Location: Chittagong, Bangladesh

Website:  www.childhavenmontessori.com

Program Established: 2008

# of Children:  30     •    Ages Served:  2 1/2 – 8

Contact Person: Matthew Sneyd

Contact Information: matthew@childhavenmontessori.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Funds to complete the purchase of Montessori materials.
  2. Operating funds to cover teacher salaries and building costs.
  3. Funds to pay for AMI training in Chennai, India.
  4. Donations to support ongoing teacher training, including supporting AMI trained volunteers to travel to our schools.
DONATE

How To Donate

To support the Child Haven Montessori Initiative, please visit www.childhaven.ca and follow the links for credit card, cash or check donations.

Please specify that your donation is for the Montessori Initiative.

Child Haven International is a registered charity in Canada, United States, Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Charitable receipts are provided for eligible donations.

Child Haven International, established in 1985, cares for over 1200 destitute children in eight homes located in India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bangladesh.

The CHI home in Chittagong, Bangladesh was opened in 2002 and currently cares for over 60 children from 4 to 13 years old. In 2008, an in house school was created for the younger children in the home. The school currently serves over 30 of these children from Kindergarten to Grade 4. In addition to the traditional classes, the children have the opportunity to learn in the Shishu Shorgho Montessori School, also located in the home. There are a wide range of Montessori materials in the environment where children are offered a chance to freely choose work that interests them and invites self-discipline, organization and concentration necessary to cultivate their self-confidence and natural love of learning. The lower elementary children use the environment to develop their senses, solidify their reading and writing, explore mathematical concepts with concrete materials, and learn about the continents, oceans, plants and animals in the cultural area.

The teachers at the Shishu Shorgho Montessori School are new to the Montessori method with a limited exposure over the past two years under the guidance of our trained volunteers. One of our volunteers will spend a month in Bangladesh this year to further develop the teachers’ understanding of the Montessori Method, and help them to provide an integrated learning experience for the children.

We will continue to need the support of international donors to cover the cost of completing the purchase of materials and provide ongoing training for teachers.

Child Haven International is devoted to providing the children in its care with the best educational opportunities possible, while stressing the Gandhian principles of equality, non-violence, self-reliance, simple living, and respect for each individual’s native culture.

Umeed

Location: Khyber, Pakistan

Website:  www.ecdbridges.org

Program Established: 2009

# of Children:  120     •    Ages Served:  3-7

Contact Person: Annie Rupani

Contact Information: annierupani@gmail.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Montessori materials new or used in good condition for sensorial, math and language.
  2. Donations to fund teacher training.
  3. Funds to convert current early childhood centres into Montessori environments.
  4. Children’s books.
DONATE

How To Donate

Website: www.ecdbridges.org
Contact Person: Annie Rupani
Contact Information: annierupani@gmail.com

Umeed in Urdu means hope. The Rupani Foundation has launched a range of developmental programs to empower the community driven initiatives that aim to address the needs of the underprivileged in Pakistan. In 2009 the Rupani Foundation established a Montessori School called Umeed in the Khyber Village of Sindh. The school offers high quality Montessori education in a rural village where early childhood education did not exist. Most schools in Pakistan start at age 6 or 7 and the focus is primarily on learning to read and write. Young children are generally kept at home. We have created an environment where these young children, ages 3 – 7, can learn in a nurturing environment that fosters their independence and allows them to reach their full potential. We work closely with the parents to help them understand the importance of these first years in a child’s life.

This project aims to liberate the community from the vicious cycle of poverty and enable them to substantially contribute to the socioeconomic uplifting of their families and the community at large.

We plan to introduce a new educational model that will bridge the gap between rural and urban populations and convert current Early Childhood Development centers to Montessori classrooms. Local village women are receiving Montessori training and professional development and some who were previously limited to household chores are now working as a teacher’s assistant.

This is a grass roots effort and already there is a significant and observable change in the mindset and lifestyle of the village and surrounding area. One of our overall objectives is to create HOPE for the rural underprivileged by using education as a tool to overcome the poverty cycle. We hope you will join us in supporting this important work.

Green Tara Child Haven School

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Website:  www.childhavenmontessori.com

Program Established: 2009

# of Children:  230     •    Ages Served:  2.5 to grade 7

Contact Person: Matthew Sneyd

Contact Information: matthew@childhavenmontessori.com

Immediate Needs:

  1. Funds to complete the purchase of Montessori materials.
  2. Donations to cover the expenses for a former resident of the Child Haven home to take the full AMI training in Chennai, India.
  3. Support with operating costs to cover teacher salaries and building expenses.
  4. Assistance with the cost of improving the learning environment of the grade one class so children can continue on their path to full development.
  5. Funds for ongoing teacher training, including supporting AMI trained volunteers to travel to our school.
DONATE

How To Donate

To support the Child Haven Montessori Initiative, please visit www.childhaven.ca and follow the links for credit card, cash or check donations.

Please specify that your donation is for the Montessori Initiative.

Child Haven International is a registered charity in Canada, United States, Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Charitable receipts are provided for eligible donations.

Child Haven International, established in 1985, cares for over 1200 destitute children in eight homes located in India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bangladesh.

The Child Haven International home in Kathmandu currently cares for 120 children from 2 ½ to 17 years old. In 2000, CHI opened the Green Tara Child Haven School, which now enrolls 230 children from the home and the local community. Over 60% of the children are on full scholarship. The remaining children pay less than $7 per month.

Child Haven International is devoted to providing the children in its care with the best educational opportunities possible, while stressing the Gandhian principles of equality, non-violence, self-reliance, simple living, and respect for each individual’s native culture.

With these goals in mind, and with the support of trained Montessori teachers, CHI began two Montessori classes for its nursery and kindergarten children in March of 2009. Following a two year plan, we have now transitioned to two fully functioning bi-lingual Montessori environments, each operating according to AMI principles with 35 children between the ages of 3 and 6.

Read More

This represents one of the most complete implementations of the Montessori Method in Nepal. Our materials are purchased locally whenever possible, with the remaining materials coming from a high quality manufacturer in Shanghai.

Our future goals for the program are to obtain the additional materials and cabinets that are required and, most importantly, to support our teachers until they are fully proficient with the Montessori Method.

Our teachers have taken a short local training, and our AMI trained volunteers have been providing supplementary training, modeling and guidance, but additional AMI training will be of great benefit. We appreciate your support in providing funds to allow for the continued success of the Green Tara Child Haven School and to give our children the benefit of a quality Montessori education.