Charitable Mission

Overview

While I did not decide to cycle the Tour D'Afrique for the purpose of raising funds for a charitable cause, it is definitely an excellent avenue to raise money for a worthy cause. As such, I gladly raised funds for a project backed by AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) which is taking place in Tanzania.

My mother is a firm believer in the Montessori method and sent both my sister and I to Montessori schools. She currently runs her own school for children up to the age of 6 and is hoping to soon open a Montessori primary school.

About Montessori

The Montessori method is a style of teaching developed through the work of Dr. Maria Montessori. In Montessori schools, teaching is primarily self-directed activity on the part of the child, while the teacher observes and adapts the learning environment to each child's development level. Physical activity is used to help children learn practical skills and understand abstract concepts.

The Montessori Training College

Some time ago, I was lucky to meet Sister Gaspara, a sister who helps to run the Montessori Usumbara School, a school for 3 - 6 year olds. It is located near to a hostel for tourists called St. Eugene's hostel.

In Africa, a key issue is the lack of qualified teachers, and the sisters are attempting to address this issue by building a teacher training college to train teachers up to Montessori diploma level. It will have two classrooms, a staff room and a store room.

The college is estimated to cost $150,000, for all the necessary materials (both building and teaching) and labour. When the trip began, they had raised $20,000.

The cost of training a teacher over the period of two years is just $400. The Chinese proverb 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.' comes to mind. Training teachers will empower them to educate many thousands of children over the course of their life.

Fund Raising

To make the amounts awkward and hence more interesting, I asked for donations on a per kilometre basis. The entire trip will cover 11,704 kilometres.

All money raised went towards the school via AMI. (The cost of the trip itself was met entirely by myself.)

Total Raised: 1704.92

Wall of Fame

Anoop and Sheetal - 50
Moosra - 58.52
Chirag Shah - 50
Anuj Malde - 30
Nikita Shah - 25
Jason Lim - 1
Shahil - 25
Nayan and Anjli - 50
Madhusudan Shah - 20
Dipak - 1170.4
John & Jean - 10
Keval and Ekta - 30
Suresh and Varsha - 50
Rajesh and Panna - 100
Cetin - 25
Anon - 10

Further Reading

If you want to find out more about Montessori or St. Eugene's hostel, drop me a line from the Contact page.