Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori began life on 15 February 2010  in a 5m rented rondawel and we provided 15 children aged 2½ – 5 years old, with Montessori pre-school education in a stimulating and safe learning environment.

early childhood development, community project, rural education, montessori
Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori March 2010

As the first dedicated pre-school in the area, the community quickly saw the benefits of investment in early childhood development.  Demand didn’t take long to outstrip our capacity and very soon a waiting list started for the pre-school.  By the end of 2010, we had more than 50 children on the waiting list for Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori – so we knew we had to do something!

Montessori, rural education, coffee bay, early childhood development
Inside environment of Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori – February 2011

Through our dear late friend, Kwazi, at Fair Trade Tourism, we were introduced to the National Development Agency  and they invited us to send in a funding proposal to build a big Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori.  Our proposal was accepted and we went into consultation with the community leaders from 12 surrounding villages, to acquire land to build the new big pre-school.   We were given land in Jonga Village and began the building of  the new Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori Early Learning Centre, that would be able to accommodate 60 young, local children.

With the funding received from the National Development Agency, Coffee Shack Backpackers, their generous guests and various other local and international organizations and individuals we proudly moved into our new building in April 2013 and we are currently  providing 44 children with a stimulating early learning environment guided in both isiXhosa and English and 2 healthy meals per day.

Montessori, early childhood development, coffee bay, project
Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori – April 2013

We are trying to integrate education, health, nutrition and social services, which will lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning, and we are desperately waiting for the support of the Department of Social Development to ensure the sustainability of this project.   We are also trying to assist the establishing of 6 satellite Montessori pre-schools in surrounding villages.  8 Local ladies are currently busy with a 2-year Montessori Early Childhood Development higher certificate NQF Level 6 training course, which has been totally sponsored by Montessori Centre South Africa and Stichting Obonto – amazing support, thank you!!

In today’s crowded world of power struggles and ego trips, the Montessori method serves as a guide to raising unselfish, self-regulated, caring human beings, who are problem solvers and have the self-confidence to lead successful lives by their own efforts, rather than at the expense of their fellow citizens.  The world needs as many people with these qualities as possible, to shift the balance away from the good-of-the-few mentality that plagues many cultures today.

Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori’s vision:  To help our children lay a solid holistic foundation that will assist them with all later learning and life skills.

Our mission: Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori is committed to providing holistic education that will guide our children on all planes of development:  social, physical, intellectual and emotional.  Our learning environment encourages the development of respect, responsibility and independence.

Montessori, early childhood development, coffee bay, project
Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori – July 2013

Get involved

Sustainable Coffee Bay have always been firm believers in the power of education and now we have started with the young children, giving them the best possible start to life.

You, your company or a group of friends can make a huge difference in the lives of these young, rural children by sponsoring a child at Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori or donating to the running costs of the centre and you will be playing a major part in giving these children the best chance possible to succeed.

Please contact us below with questions about Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori and contributing towards this project.

Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori - May 2013


5 thoughts on “Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori

  • March 18, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Hi! I am almost finished completing my Montessori coarse , only have my practical exam left, and have been working at a school in Magaliesburg where I live.
    I would like to ask if you have any need for new teachers? I am a single mother of three small children and am finding our current way of life unsustainable and draining! I am very passionate about working with children and have wanted to open a school of my own for a long time but have been struggling to get the capital nessesary for equipment and venue and also cover the cost of living!
    Do you perhaps have a space where we cloud fit in?

    • August 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Dear Emily

      Please let me know if you got around to starting your own school. Maybe I could help.

  • February 6, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    This is one of the projects that brings a smile in my face whenever I look back and think about my contribution to the upliftment of a society. I believe that laying a good foundation for any and every generation should be every government’s key focal point. My involvement and my agency’s contribution in the Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori is something I will always remember, staring from negotiating for the site up to the centre handover event to the community. It wasn’t easy but its was worth it and now the Jonga community and its surrounding should be proud to own such a beautiful asset.


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