We believe that creating opportunities for the young to grow to the fullness of their potential will yield an adult population whose life choices will veer to non-violent conflict resolution, tolerance of the other, and protection of the future of our world.
Each opportunity where we can act and “transform our world“, as Maria Montessori called for, needs to be fully exploited.
There is reason for positivity going into 2019. There are fewer children out of school than ever before; fewer families live in poverty, and many many more families have access to basic services than any other earlier generation. So, it can be done, life for even the poorest can be significantly improved.
And there are opportunities in 2019 to both celebrate the progress we have seen for children over the past decades, and to reiterate again what needs to change to allow all “little children a chance to live”.
65 years ago, the United Nations declared November 20th as Universal Children’s day, and on that day, this year, the Convention on the Rights of the Child will be 30 years old. Currently, 196 countries are party to it.
I am sure that this will be the opportunity for organizations and individuals concerned about the well-being of the children to come together and look not just back at the successes we have seen but to plan for the future. We should be active partners in this.
And AMI’s 90th birthday creates a similar chance for us.
90 years of work gives us the confidence, experience, and authority to have our voice heard on behalf of children. A voice that should not only reflect our commitment to children and the full realization of their rights, but our goal of a more peaceful just and equitable world. And that voice is not just the voice of the global organization but the voice of many Montessori individuals, schools, training centers and national affiliates.
2018 has been a year of development and significant progress. With growing numbers of trainers, teachers, affiliates and unceasing demand for all three, we have capacity to shoulder the accountability to help ensure every child has access to an education that offers him or her the opportunity to grow to their full potential.
I look forward to us working together in 2019 to help bring inclusion to the disadvantaged, and to gaining a wider endorsement of the importance of a child-centered approach to education.
Philip D. O'Brien
Association Montessori Internationale