The past two months have just flown by at Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori, as the children keep developing ….at an amazing rate …. and we have gone up from 45 to 54 children! Nokuthula, Irene and Fundiswa, our three Xhosa Montessori students who work at Ikhaya Labantwana on a full time basis, are kept well busy with presentations during the 3-hour work cycle and Ikhaya Labantwana is a hive of activity, with happy, stimulated children, on their way to independence!

ILM in action
Ikhaya Labantwana in action

We held our first parents meeting of the year in March and the parents voted in a Parent Governing Body (PGB)for Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori. The principal of the school, 4 parents of children and 1 elder from the community make up the PGB. The PGB will help make decisions necessary for the sustainability and improvement of Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori. Thank you to Tata Nombanjana, Headman Silevu, Notozamile Lunyawo, Thoko Tshemese and Belinda Malherbe for being on the PGB.

Deep concentration - Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori
Deep concentration at Ikhaya Labantwana

Many days during the months of March and April were spent going up to visit the Department of Social Development (DoSD) in Mthatha, collecting forms, taking forms back, having to take additional papers a few days later, having to take copies of birth certificates a few days later…….and eventually we have secured a monthly subsidy from them – YEAH!!!!!! But the subsidy is only based on 30 children…….sorry for the other 24 children…..?  We are, however, grateful for their contribution – thank you to the DoSD!

Bonani and Busie
Bonani and Busie – Ikhaya Labantwana

During the April school holidays, the eight Xhosa ladies who are studying Montessori with MCSA  had their Numeracy and Arithmetic module presented to them at Ikhaya Labantwana by Mokgadi Phoshoko.  The ladies really enjoyed the lectures and are presenting them with confidence 🙂

Numeracy training - April 2014 (2)
Numeracy training at Ikhaya Labantwana – April 2014
Putting in practise what has been learned
Putting in practise what has been learned

At the end of April, I was very privileged to attend the South African Montessori Association (SAMA) National Conference in Johannesburg, with compliments from SAMA – thank you for this amazing experience!  

It was absolutely wonderful for my soul to be among other Montessorians and the conference was superbly organized by Kym van Straaten, Xanthe Bester and their hardworking team, with the Indaba Hotel being a perfect venue with delicious food.  The speakers that were organized for the conference were world class and very inspirational.  Big impact was made on me by Clem Sunter, who left me with the thought that we need to start producing entrepreneurs for the future;  Dr Paul Epstein who has changed the the way I observe,  Nikki Bush who has made me aware of children living in the Red Zone and Jo Allais for reminding me how important good stories and good books are for children – thank you all for the wonderful lessons learned.


A BIG thank you to MCSA and MCI for donating books to sell at the conference to raise funds for Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori  and thank you to Rupert Smedley for manning the table for all those hours.  Your kindness and generosity raised R5000 for Ikhaya Labantwana to be able to buy materials – Thank you!   A HUGE thank you to the Montessori community for continuing to sponsor children at Ikhaya Labantwana.  At the SAMA conference 12 schools extended their sponsorship and 6 new sponsors came on board.  Since the conference and because of the conference,  4 new sponsors have come on board 🙂  The Montessori community now sponsors 22 out of our 54 children and there is no way our school would still be operating, if it was not for your support – THANK YOU!!!       We are still looking for sponsors for 19 children, so if any schools or individuals would like to get involved, please feel free to contact me – your small monthly donation makes a massive difference in our school.

Rupert Smedley from MCI talking to Sharon Caldwell at the SAMA National Conference
Rupert Smedley from MCI

Thank you and stay well.  I look forward to hearing from you.

All at Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori










Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori catch-up

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