This project is to support the opening of a Montessori school in the region of Mbeya, Tanzania. The woman behind this is Tumaini Levant Sichone, a 34-year-old Tanzanian teacher with a vision. She decided to support
this system in her home region of Mbeya because the majority of people there do not know about the Montessori pedagogy and she thinks this could greatly enrich the Tanzanian education system in the Southern Highlands.
Violence is too often a part of school experience for children in Tanzania (for more information on this see online reports on CRIN – the Child Rights Information Network) and according to the 2009 Initial Tanzania Report to the African Committee of Experts on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: corporal punishment is institutionalized in both schools and the criminal justice system as a legal punishment for children.
The Montessori (violence-free) method helps children develop different intellectual, social, emotional and physical abilities via a learning through playing program which includes observation, experimentation, exploration and creative activities all taking place in a stimulating and nurturing environment.
To create such an environment by opening her own school has been her dream ever since she started working as a teacher 8 years ago at the Sainte Therese of Lisieux kindergarten in Dar es Salaam. She has both a certificate in early childhood education (1999) and a diploma from the Maria Montessori organization (2001).
Tumaini came back to Mbeya in 2010 to start planning her project. She wants to start with one class of 20 children between 4 to 6 years old, and has found a classroom in need of renovation for which the initial fixing costs (painting etc.) will be deducted from the monthly rent. There will also therefore have to be school fees to make the project sustainable in the long run, and a start-up capital is what she needs support with in order to make this happen.