Every year, a group of individuals get the chance to be part of an immersive, 2-week international Assembly that focuses on developing a deep understanding of the core principles of the Montessori philosophy, helping individuals understand the need for their own self-examination and awareness when tackling the challenges of the current education landscape and understanding how individuals and communities can put the collective knowledge they have into practice.

The 7th Educateurs sans Frontières (EsF) Assembly was held in the beautiful mountain town, Tepoztlán, in collaboration with Montessori México. Jasmine Jacob, the Strategy, Learning & Impact lead for the Indaba Foundation attended this year’s assembly. “We began every day with an hour of community work, working in the gardens in an orphanage close by, mowing lawns, clearing rubbish, creating materials or tidying up the grounds. What followed were lectures and presentations in the late morning before everyone joined smaller reading groups to discuss extracts that addressed topics such as Education and Peace, Human Tendencies, World Illiteracy and Education for a Sustainable Future to name but a few. After lunch we would often immerse ourselves in sessions that were offered by participants themselves that ranged from sessions about Montessori and Spirituality to Environments for Elders to Music and Education. The attendees also engaged in working groups to work on a specific goal that we needed to complete by the end of the two weeks, for example, by creating a guideline to help the Montessori community measure social impact.

Every lecture, presentation and session was incredibly insightful and offered a platform for deep discussions about our humanity to take place. The day often ended with a cultural activity, offering a glimpse into the past and present that make Tepoztlán the wonderful and somewhat magical place it is,” says Jasmine.

The experience in Mexico showed Jasmine the power that one individual has to make a difference and that sometimes all one needs is passion, initiative and creativity to make the impossible possible. The Assembly also provided a strong reminder that a united community can create a better future for humanity by utilizing the incredible potential of the child.

Educateurs sans Frontières or Education Without Borders is making the call to radically change the way we relate to each other as humans and relate to the forgotten citizens of the world, our children, to awaken the long lost spirit of unity of humanity. “I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to represent the team at this year’s Assembly, have made many incredible connections with like-minded individuals and have learned a great deal from this experience, a lot of which I hope to apply in our own projects.”

Caption: Jasmine Jacob, right, with a fellow delegate at the EsF 2019 Assembly in Mexico.