Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."


Project #
Skidmore College
  • Naira Abdula


Working with six other residents of Beira, her home city in Mozambique, Naira Abdula built a library and learning lab for 56 children living in a village orphanage outside the city. The team then trained 12 local facilitators in the project’s own Stage Curriculum, “in which we included all the stages that a child goes through to learn how to read, write and count,” Naira writes. “On each stage, we included a set of activities, lessons to be taught, videos to be watched, and educational applications to be used.”

The exchange rate from the U.S. dollar to the Mozambican metical dropped between the planning and execution phases — and Naira, new to construction work, underestimated what materials would be needed. With the aim of making the community an active partner in the project, the team hired local masons, carpenters and electricians for the construction work. “We created a facilitator training program in which we had three days of theoretical training and three days of practical training,” Naira writes. “At a certain point, we realized we had more to learn from the facilitators than they had from us. We would teach them the ways which they should teach the children at the learning lab, and they would naturally adapt these methods to their local culture.”

The team developed a sustainability plan for the project. The 12 volunteer facilitators are continuing to teach children at the learning center, and Naira hopes to expand Edutrer to other parts of her country.