Links and Connections

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Music and Peace
In his wisdom and due to his growing concerns for peace and justice in the world today, Hooshang Kamkar has recently composed a brilliant piece of music using carefully hand-picked poems (Baba Taher and Sa’di) and images. Through this piece, he is reminding us that we must not neglect our poverty-stricken and war-ravaged brothers and sisters around the world. The philosophy of MEPO, with its protocol of peace, is completely in alignment with Mr. Kamkar’s efforts to promote peace and justice in the world. We heartily praise and endorse this creative effort and invite you to share in its powerful message.
You are enthusiastically invited to listen to this remarkable 7-minute  song with its striking images by clicking on this link:

Montessori Education Resources

To find out more about Montessori education (schools, training, philosophy, books, etc) here are a few recommended sites:   The website of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the original international Montessori organization   EsF:  Educateurs sans Frontieres – other Montessori projects in developing countries   This website, founded by Jules Layman, highlights Montessori schools in underdeveloped places. The House of Flowers has been on Jules’ site for many years. Her consistent support of the House of Flowers and other projects that strive to make Montessori education accessible in all types of communities has been laudable. The House of Flowers was highlighted in their September and December newsletters, greatly increasing our exposure, and we are very grateful for this. You can sign up for their newsletter on their website.   This website is a  blog/collection of pieces written by Montessori teachers, trainers, and parents. Jennifer Rogers, who is with Countryside Montessori and was instrumental in organization Countryside’s fundraiser (news item #2) in which they raised over $4000, to help the House of Flowers, has several pieces on the site. Check out her Valentine for Parents article, as well as her article for Mother’s Day, in which she featured the House of Flowers.

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Powerpoint Presentations Available – photos, videos, etc. 

Click here to access Allison’s Powerpoint presentations about the House of Flowers and Montessori Education

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Lantern Projects 

Lantern Projects, , a non-profit 501c3 organization, provides funding for small projects around the world.  100% of the funding received for the projects goes to the projects.  In the ten years since its founding there are over 200 projects in 60+ countries. One of these was MEPO in Afghanistan.

There have been six projects in Afghanistan. The first Lantern Project was to provide sewing machines for young widows so that they could learn a trade.  Next were vitamins and basic medical supplies for a clinic that MEPO had established.  Another provided digital satellite radios to remote villages so that children and parents could listen to songs and stories as well as information about child development.  In order to assist people affected by the war, approximately 300 fruit trees were provided to farmers to begin working on their land again.  Sheep, seeds and fertilizer assisted other farmers.  In the refugee camps, solar ovens were donated so that bread and other foods could be prepared.

Lantern Projects is proud to partner with individuals and organizations, such as MEPO, to determine the needs and raise funds to meet those needs.

-by Gail Uilkema, of Lantern Projects (November 2012)

NOTE: In January 2012, Lantern Projects posted a new House of Flowers proposal on its website to gather Montessori classroom development funds for the House of Flowers. Donations to Lantern to support this project are tax deductible, and 100% of the funds raised come to MEPO directly.

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Nove Onlus       This Italian NGO is founded by House of Flowers’ long-time friend Susanna Fioretti. She and others have designed their NGO to be a sort of clearinghouse for projects. She was very excited about the prospect of a project that would allow for the expansion of Montessori into the government orphanages, following on the model of the House of Flowers. As a result, she has recently added a project to their portfolio to raise funds for a Montessori training program within Afghanistan’s government orphanages.

Nove Onlus pledges that their projects will be run with no administrative costs. Anyone or any organizations interested in supporting this project should go to the Nove Onlus website.

(Although the site is currently in Italian, a translated version is in the works.)

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Playground Builders    This organization does wonderful work building playgrounds for children in war-torn areas including Gaza and Afghanistan. In fact, Keith Reynolds and Kirby Brown of Playground Builders have been long-time supporters of the House of Flowers in many ways – by sending financial support, by rejuvenating the backyard of the House with grass and playground equipment, and even sending a telescope to the children all the way from Canada. They also installed the playground at the local school where Razia and the other girls attend.

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The Graduate Institute  (TGI)   TGI is an institute in Connecticut that offers masters degree programs in intriguing emerging fields such as Conscious Evolution, Integrative Health and Healing, Oral Traditions, and more. Allison studied Conscious Evolution at TGI and wrote her masters thesis on Montessori education and the emerging worldview (to read it, go to Articles) , and Mostafa was a lecturer and presenter at TGI for some sessions as well.

TGI has been very supportive of the efforts of MEPO and the House of Flowers, and in December 2012 the institute highlighted Allison in an alumni feature article. The programs of TGI focus on developing new visions for the future of humanity and the world, and as such, their work is strongly aligned with the work of MEPO. In fact, the unique structure and philosophy of classes at TGI are remarkably similar to Montessori principles.