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Nov 11

Beautiful Things are Happening – Update on School & Training!

Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dear Family and Friends,

I realize I am always thanking you for your prayers, encouragement and financial support, but I do want you to know how grateful I am. The beautiful things that are happening here for these children and the future of this community are only possible through your efforts and prayer. I stay strong and keep building because I remember the people who love me and the people who sent me. These are your accomplishments in Ndirande, Malawi.

We added 20 students to the school, which is now serving students ages 3 to 10 years. It is a remarkable tribute to the power of Montessori Education. The majority of the children of the students we have added have only moms. Being a single mom in Malawi is not the same as the U.S. These widows have no governmental support systems here. A few of the women that I know about have HIV/AIDS. They are surviving on very little, with extended family’s help. Most of them have no training or trade to bring in money for their family. When I asked one mom to sign that she will be committing to volunteering hours for the school, she told my pastor in Chichewa that she didn’t know how to write or sign her name. She never learned. That’s why she wants her children to have this education. As the pastor translated for me and I looked into her eyes and I wanted to tell her so many things to encourage her. I got that not only her children will be transformed by this education, but her as well. Montessori Education is about empowering community. That is why I love and respect this education so much.

Parents have volunteered (because we are a parent participation school (I love it!) to teach P.E. Lessons, Bible Lesson, make materials, supervise before school, be Garden of Learning parents, be in charge of organizing snack daily and to be reading parents.

We are starting a school garden for a learning experience for the children, to supply us eventually with vegetables for a snack and to sell for the school. The parents and pastors are helping us with clearing the land.

We will be providing a Montessori 2 1/2 – 6 yr curriculum training for the directors and teachers from the seven Chifundo Orphan Care Centers on JANUARY 12TH – JANUARY 16TH. Please note the change of dates.

My Malawian teaching partners, Tisu and Gladys, are growing exponentially in leadership and teaching skills. Wait til you see the picture of Tisu giving a Zoology lesson on the butterfly.

We are looking a ways to become self-sufficient in the future by making Montessori teaching materials to sell to private schools. We are looking with the parents on ways to empower them to learn a skill and start a trade.

Well, enough talking. Here are the pictures. Love, Maribeth

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