Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.
— Maria Montessori


At HADAYA we fully believe this to be true and so we are very happy to be supporting Maha's Montessori Mission. Maha is igniting a Montessori movement across refugee communities worldwide! See below for more on her story...

Their future is at stake. Your support is critical. Let's help these families rebuild a better Syria!

For the latest update on Maha’s Montessori Mission, read our Blog here.


2019/2020: The Uighur Montessori School, Istanbul

Uighurs are a largely Muslim ethnic minority group based mainly in China's westernmost Xinjiang region. Over the past several years, the Chinese government has engaged in a campaign of abuse, isolation, re-education and detention against them, causing hundreds of thousands to flee for their lives. The Uighur School in Istanbul is currently training (assisted by a previous graduate of the Istanbul School) 6 newly arrived refugee women to become assistant Montessori teachers. Your financial support would help pay for the teacher stipends as well as a comprehensive children’s library for the school.

Becoming certified as a Montessori Assistant will help empower the women and provide future income and a road to independence. Meanwhile, the 40 students will be given an irreplaceable gift. The gift of an education. Please consider becoming part of this by making a donation today via PayPal.  Write the word UIGHUR in the notes and we will direct it towards this program. Many thanks!

 2019/2020: Montessori School near Karkamish refugee camp, Southern Turkey

MAHA would like to create a special Montessori training for six women who are former residents of this refugee camp and are now living in the vicinity but have not had the opportunity to complete their training. We are seeking partners/financial contributions in order to rent the space to hold the training. Donations can be earmarked ‘Karkamish’. Thank you!

OCTOber 2017

The Center for Guided Montessori Studies, which is affiliated with The International Montessori Council, has partnered with Maha to provide a MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) accredited Early Childhood Teacher Certification program for two groups of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Istanbul. Maha trained over 40 women - 23 of whom eventually became fully certified as Montessori teachers. The Montessori method of Early Education is highly respected in the Middle East and the whole world, so earning this certification is truly empowering for them; it also means that their certifications will be recognized by all schools internationally, and their prospects for future employment are promising.

December 2016

Maha helped open a second school in Istanbul. Currently both schools are thriving with over 40 students between them. A few photos from the Istanbul school...

Summer 2016

They achieved their goal and Maha traveled to Amman, Jordan where she set up the first Montessori school for Syrian refugees in the basement of an apartment building housing displaced widows with children. Here are a few photos from that first school...


Born in Cairo, Egypt, Maha is a mother of three, world traveller and a career teacher who holds a masters degree in early childhood education/Montessori and an undergraduate degree in Egyptology. She was in the process of pursuing her Ph.D. in 2016 when things changed. She decided that academia was not for her. Instead, Maha listened to her students at Somerfield Academy in Bermuda (average age 3-6 years old) - they inspired her to go and physically make a difference and help her fellow humans. 

She wanted to make a difference in the lives of refugee women and children by offering them access to Montessori education and by training adults to become certified teachers. One day, in her own classroom in Bermuda she and her students were discussing the Syrian refugees and the countries that accepted them and the others that did not welcome them. The children decided they wanted to do something to help, by polishing shoes to raise money for Maha's first trip to Jordan.

We happened to meet Maha in Jordan, while working on another HADAYA project, and were so impressed by what she was trying to do that we vowed right then and there to help her in any way we could. 

HADAYA is committed to helping Maha achieve the goal of opening many more Montessori pop-up schools and hundreds more trained and qualified Montessori teachers to run them. This will not only impact the refugees directly by providing opportunities for education, both children and adults, but give them hope for a better future - one where they can support and sustain themselves and their families. More long term, it will impact the future generations -- as we all know, the children are our future!