International engagement2021-11-12T09:10:57+00:00

International engagement

The Arthur Waser Foundation believes in the future of the African continent and focuses on the education of future generations. It pursues an education strategy and particularly sees in Montessori pedagogy and technical vocational skills training suitable opportunities to help children and young people to the right to their own development process and the full realization of their potential. In this context, the foundation is also involved in the construction of schools and has developed a handbook for architects as well as public and private schoolowners who want to build a school reflecting contemporary pedagogical knowledge.

The Arthur Waser Foundation is engaged in three African priority countries Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia and will soon be entering Angola. A further expansion of its geographical focus is currently not foreseen.

The Foundation works with strong, locally anchored partner organizations, including African congregations of the Christian faith. These partner organizations – going beyond the foundation’s focus on education – are also supported in important areas that contribute to sustainability and professionalism. In particular, management capacities, sustainable agriculture models and health facilities in the vicinity of the schools of the partner organizations are supported.

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

Pre-school and primary school education

Extended access to 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 convey value-based 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 around 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 as well as organizations operating Montessori training centers and kindergartens in Tanzania.

Engagements pre-school and school education

Vocational training

Well-trained specialists in technical professions are of crucial importance for a functioning economy around the world; they are in great demand on the labor market. At the same time, vocational training opens up a broad spectrum of opportunities for young people to independently and sustainably determine their living conditions. The Arthur Waser Foundation has therefore been involved in vocational training for almost 20 years and with increasing intensity.

The Arthur Waser Foundation works closely with partner organizations in Europe and Africa in the context of economic interests in the education sector, the promotion of vocational training (TVET or Vocational Skills Development) as well as sustainable technologies and the personal, value-based development of young people.

In doing so, the partners rely on the one hand on the development goals drawn up by the international community, such as “ensuring equal access for all women and men to affordable and high-quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university education” (Sustainable Development Goal SDG 4.3).

On the other hand, the partner organizations orient themselves towards the international consensus of the education sector, which sees itself as part of an overall economic, ecological and social system, and operate vocational training as part of a specific, culturally and context-dependent sequence of learning pathways.

Engagements vocational training

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

Transversal themes

When working with long-term partners, the issue of sustainability is of particular importance . In Tanzania, the Arthur Waser Foundation supports its partners to devise sustainable ways of practicing agriculture on their medium-sized and large-scale farms. Various ways of peer learning among the AWF partners as well as the surrounding communities are being used, which are arranged by the local NGO Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania. In this way, the farms guarantee the self-sufficiency of AWF partners, they contribute to the schools and health facilities run by the partners, and they benefit the surrounding rural population.


Focus countries

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

Engagements focus countries