International engagement2024-03-20T07:52:34+00:00

International Engagement

The Arthur Waser Foundation believes in the future of the African continent and its peoples and it focuses on the education of future generations. It pursues an education strategy and it considers Montessori education and technical education, in particular, to be good ways of helping children and young people to exercise their right to their own development process and to realize their full potential. In this context, the foundation is also involved in the construction of schools and has developed a handbook for architects and public and private schoolowners, who want to build a school reflecting contemporary pedagogical knowledge.

The Arthur Waser Foundation is engaged in three focus countries Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia. An expansion of its geographical focus is currently not foreseen.

The Arthur Waser Foundation works with strong, locally anchored partner organisations, including African congregations of the Christian faith. In addition to the foundation’s focus on education, these partner organisations may also be supported in important areas, which contribute to their sustainability and professionalism. In particular, management capacities, sustainable agriculture models and health facilities in the vicinity of schools of the partner organisations are supported.

The Arthur Waser Foundation uses around two thirds of its funding in the African focus countries.

Pre-school and School Education

Access to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) has become a global focus. In the Global South in particular, it is recognized that high quality ECE has the potential to reduce social inequalities because it substantially enhances the emotional, social and cognitive development of children at a young age. Therefore, the promotion of high-quality ECE was included in the Sustainable Development Goals: «By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education» (SDG 4.2).

The Arthur Waser Foundation is committed to making a contribution to improving the provision of ECE. It supports and connects organizations with a long-term willingness to provide high-quality ECE services. These services should be child-centered, convey locally-rooted knowledge, encourage children to think freely and learn independently, and should benefit all sections of the population.

For the time being, the Arthur Waser Foundation’s activities in the field of pre-school education is confined to Tanzania, where the Montessori pedagogy is widespread and well established. A total of more than 5000 Montessori teachers have been trained at local training centers since the 1970s and the pedagogy has been adapted to local circumstances. For these reasons, the Arthur Waser Foundation supports the national association of Montessori teachers (Montessori Community of Tanzania) as well as organizations operating Montessori training centers, kindergartens and primary schools in Tanzania.

Engagements pre-school and school education

Technical Education

The commitment of the Arthur Waser Foundation to technical education aims to support shaping an opportunity-rich environment in which young people can realize their professional potential and contribute to a resilient society. The Foundation is equally convinced that functioning educational and working environments must be oriented both to global conditions and processes and, to a large extent, to the local cultural contexts of the respective countries.

By promoting high-quality secondary and tertiary technical education, the Arthur Waser Foundation strengthens the base of well-trained technicians and engineers in Ghana and Tanzania. The focus on renewable energies and sustainable development underlines the claim to actively contribute to achieving global climate goals.

Improving labour market connectivity and enabling broader career opportunities is considered another key element in empowering a young African generation.

Engagements technical Education

Urbanisation and Architecture

Africa is urbanising faster than any other area on the planet, and the massive architectural changes of the continent are happening in concert with population growth and migration. According to the UN estimation, African cities will have to accommodated around three times as many people by 2050 as they do today [1]. Africa therefore appears as the new global frontier for urban development in the 21st century. In this moment of grate national and international tension, the Arthur Waser Foundation supports a self-determined urbanisation and is committed to an independent African architecture.

[1] United Nations (2014) World Urbanization Prospect. The 2014 revision. New York: the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Engagements urbanisation and architecture

Sustainable Agriculture

Since 2020, the Arthur Waser Foundation has been supporting farmsteads of its congregational partners in Tanzania in developing sustainable agricultural practices. According to the guidelines of agroecology and permaculture, the sometimes large agricultural areas should enable the sisters to provide themselves and their schools with basic goods such as food and energy, to generate a stable income and to establish cooperation with small and micro farmers in their immediate vicinity .

The first phase consists of an intensive training of five congregations per year through SAT «Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania». The training is part of the Arthur Waser Foundation’s educational strategy. It starts at the SAT model farm and continues on the farms of the congregations, where they visit each other to learn from each other. In the second phase, the congregations develop business plans with technical support from SAT and receive interest-free loans from the AWF for the implementation. These are paid back to a Tanzanian trust fund in order to finance new projects. Since the trustees in this fund are the congregations themselves, this model thus shifts the decision-making power over financial resources of the AWF from the foundation to the partners.

Complementary Topics

When working with long-term partners, the issue of sustainability is of particular importance. Complementary topics contribute to the self-sufficiency of ours partners and the schools and health facilities they run. Various ways of peer learning among the AWF partners as well as the surrounding communities are being used.

Engagements Complementary Topics

Focus Countries

The Arthur Waser Foundation is currently active with its education strategy in the three African countries of Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia. An expansion of its geographical focus is currently not foreseen. Around two thirds of its funds are awarded in the African focus countries.

Engagements focus countries