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Taking Montessori to Syrian refugees

Local Montessori-trained teacher Maha Turner shows true dedication to her cause.

At this week's Rotary Club meeting, she announced that her mission to bring Montessori teaching to children who have fled Syria has expanded from Jordan to Turkey.

In addition to the group of Syrian widows and refugees, to whom she brought the Montessori philosophy in July last year, Mrs Turner has established two other groups in Istanbul and South Turkey, near the border with Aleppo.

This year she has been working with the Centre for Guided Montessori Studies to train a total of 41 women in the teaching of Montessori.

“It is beautiful changing the lives of these people,” she said. “Just giving them a reason to feel that they're productive, there's hope and it's not the end, it's a beginning; a wonderful beginning.”

It is her hope to get the women the certification they need. In order to do so, Mrs Turner explained that they required Montessori classrooms to work in as “training requires both theory and practicum”.

Although her group in Jordan have access to a classroom with Montessori materials, the remaining women do not.

Mrs Turner is also attempting to have all Montessori materials and resources labelled in Arabic as the children do not understand English.

“So we need money to start classrooms, to buy materials, and maintain schools,” she added. “It's a huge project and I'm just doing it one step at a time. I'm hoping for the best.”

She announced that she planned to leave Somersfield Academy and be stationed in London to concentrate on her cause and be close to her students.

Those who want to donate, or want more information, can e-mail mahat1964@gmail.com

Maha Turner pictured with her daughter Hasna in Amman, Jordan (Photograph supplied)

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Published July 08, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated July 08, 2017 at 12:03 am)

Taking Montessori to Syrian refugees

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